MR party vote ‘No’ to arms ban
The call from Philippe Mahoux (PS) for a law banning all nuclear arms in Belgium has been firmly opposed by the Reformist Movement party (MR).
“For us, the answer is no”, said Denis Ducarme, representative of the MR party, adding that Belgium had agreed with NATO to cooperate in nuclear operations with other allies. The passing of such a law “would be an act of rebellion”, he declared.
The proposal for a full nuclear arms ban follows the passing of laws prohibiting landmines, cluster bombs and weapons containing depleted uranium, announced La Libre Belgique on Tuesday, and the new proposal looks to ban “the manufacture, the repair, the exhibition, the sale, the transport and the storage of nuclear weapons in Belgium”. In an interview published by La Libre Belgique, the MR President, Armand De Decker, said that Belgium should “be united” with other European countries.
He explained that “self-defence is not possible in Europe without nuclear weapons. In the case of a threat, there is no means of dissuasion other than the nuclear deterrent”.
On the other hand, Mahoux’s proposal has been welcomed by the Flemish Christian-Democrats (CD&V), who have declared that nuclear arms should be removed from Belgium, especially the Kleine-Brogel air base in Limbourg which is reported to contain around twenty nuclear warheads. The government refuses to confirm or deny the presence of such weapons.