'Killer robots': MP Nia Griffith calls for world ban

A mock 'killer robot' distributes promotional literature calling for a ban on fully autonomous weapons in Parliament Square
Image caption A debate on 'lethal autonomous robotics' is held by MPs on Monday

A Welsh Labour MP has called on the UK government to support a moratorium on the use and development of so-called "killer robots".

Llanelli MP Nia Griffith said the "frightening technology" of Lethal Autonomous Robotics (LARs) had to be stopped.

She said: "That is one step further than a drone which at least has some kind of [human] control over it."

Supporters say the "lethal autonomous robots" could save soldiers' lives.

Ms Griffith is raising her concerns about the weapons in a House of Commons debate on Monday.

The robots are machines programmed in advance to take out people or targets, which - unlike drones - operate autonomously on the battlefield.

They are being developed in the US, UK and Israel but have not yet been used.

Ms Griffith, who is vice-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on weapons and the protection of civilians, said they raise serious moral questions about how we wage war.

She told the BBC's Sunday Politics Wales programme she was disappointed that the UK government had not signed up to a recent UN report calling for a moratorium on the use and development of LARs.

She said: "This is extremely frightening technology and we know how quickly this type of technology is being developed.

"There's a lot of secrecy about it and we need an international agreement about it.

"For example, blinding-lasers were banned before they came into use and that is the type of ban we need to be looking at.

"The US has already introduced a moratorium and quite clearly you have to work at an international level on this and the UK has to work with other countries to get a ban worldwide."

Liberal Democrat AM Peter Black told the programme he was also concerned about LARs.

He said: "It's quite frightening, it makes you think of the Terminator movies with Arnold Schwarzenegger and I don't want that kind of world."

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