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Sleekit’ increase in Trident nuclear warheads on the Clyde

Sleekit’ increase in Trident nuclear warheads on the Clyde, The Ferret Rob Edwards, April 11, 2021   The UK Government has secretly boosted the number of Trident nuclear warheads stored on the Clyde over the last five years, according to an analysis of bomb convoys.

Nukewatch, which monitors the transport of nuclear weapons, estimated that 37 new warheads were delivered from England to Scotland between 2015 and 2020. Nine were added in 2019 and 13 in 2020, it said.

In March the Ministry of Defence (MoD) reversed a ten-year-old disarmament plan by announcing the “ceiling” on the UK’s nuclear weapons stockpile would increase from 225 to 260 because of “technological and doctrinal threats”.

But Nukewatch argued this increase has already happened without the public being told. It accused Westminster of failing to provide a “fully accurate picture” and of risking “catastrophic consequences”. 

The Scottish National Party (SNP) warned of a “moral and democratic outrage”. Campaigners lambasted UK ministers for being “sleekit” and treating parliaments and public with “utter contempt”.

The MoD did not deny that more warheads had been sent to Scotland. It declined to comment on nuclear transports, and stressed that warhead numbers were “kept under review”.

The MoD’s “integrated review” of nuclear weapons policy on 17 March 2021 abandoned a pledge made in 2010 “to reduce our overall nuclear warhead stockpile ceiling from not more than 225 to not more than 180 by the mid-2020s.”It said: “In recognition of the evolving security environment, including the developing range of technological and doctrinal threats, this is no longer possible, and the UK will move to an overall nuclear weapon stockpile of no more than 260 warheads.”..

This prompted Nukewatch to examine its recorded sightings of 78 nuclear bomb convoys between 2010 and 2020. There were 43 trips from the nuclear weapons factory at Burghfield, Berkshire, to the Royal Naval Armaments Depot at Coulport on Loch Loch, and 35 in the other direction……………….

The Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament blamed a series of “sleekit” prime ministers for misrepresenting nuclear realities. “It is now clear that a succession of UK governments have treated parliaments and the public with utter contempt,” said campaign chair, Lynn Jamieson.“They have deceived their own people by this covert escalation and they have attempted to hoodwink the world at large with a show of compliance with the requirements of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.”The suggestion that nuclear weapons brought security was an “arrogant delusional absurdity”, Jamieson argued. Instead they meant “more capacity for mass extinction, life-extinguishing climate change, genocide and risk of irrecoverable accidental

April 12, 2021 - Posted by | UK, weapons and war

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