On 16 December 2020 the SNP's spokesperson for foreign affairs, Alyn Smith MP, introduced legislation at the House of Commons calling for the UK to support a ban on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS).
He underlined the risks posed by LAWS and related technology, which are evolving rapidly and in a “deeply dangerous direction.” He stressed:
Calling for UK leadership on maintaining human control over weapons system, Mr. Smith highlighted calls for a ban across the globe, as well as support from civil society.
This development builds on the SNP's 2019 manifesto commitment to work for a ban on LAWS and subsequent submission to the UK's integrated review. We were delighted that contributions by UNA-UK, along with other members of civil society, were recognised in Mr. Smith's speech and we look forward to working with all political parties to build cross-party engagement on this issue.
Watch Alyn Smith’s Ten Minute Rule Bill at the House of Commons in its entirety:
- Read the full transcript of the Ten Minute Rule Bill
- Read about the Ministry of Defence’s response to UNA-UK’s joint letter to the Secretary of State urging the UK to support a legally binding treaty to prohibit LAWS
- See UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ call for a ban on killer robots
- Learn about the Campaign To Stop Killer Robots and follow them on Twitter @UK_Robots
- See the campaign’s analysis of UK contributions up to 2020
- Read Human RIghts Watch’s report on Country Positions on Banning Fully Autonomous Weapons
Photo: Alyn Smith MP reads the Ten Minute Rule Motion at the House of Commons. Credit: UK Parliament 2021