Washington, D.C. – Today, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY) introduced H.R. 5681, legislation to extend the 1958 U.S.-U.K Mutual Defense Agreement to allow continued bilateral nuclear security cooperation.

The 1958 “Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (U.K.) for Cooperation on the Uses of Atomic Energy for Mutual Defense Purposes” has governed U.S. nuclear security cooperation with the U.K. for more than 50 years.  The agreement is renewed every 10 years, and the current cycle will expire on December 31, 2014.

H.R. 5681 extends the Agreement for 10 years.  The legislation will likely be considered by the House within the next two weeks.

Upon introduction of H.R. 5681, Chairman Royce said:  “The United Kingdom remains the closest ally and most important security partner of the United States.  The Mutual Defense Agreement is a key element of our enduring ‘special relationship.’  By renewing this agreement, Congress will ensure the uninterrupted continuation of our close nuclear cooperation with the U.K. and reinforce NATO’s ability to provide strategic security for the Alliance.”

Ranking Member Engel said:  “For more than half a century, the Mutual Defense Agreement has been a vital part of the alliance between the United States and the United Kingdom and a cornerstone of European defense.  Though we face a new set of challenges in the 21st century, the need for close cooperation on nuclear security remains clear.  As we move to extend this agreement, we reaffirm the importance of the Special Relationship.”

H.R. 5681:
·         enables the exchange of nuclear information, hardware, and material between the United States and United Kingdom governments;

·         updates existing policies regarding the training of nuclear personnel and personnel security;

·         improves cooperation on nuclear threat reduction efforts;

·         provides for the joint evaluation of potential enemy nuclear threats and capabilities;

·         allows for the cooperative development of mutual nuclear defense plans;

·         promotes bilateral research, development, and design of nuclear technologies;

·         adopts routine changes to legacy language in the original agreement.