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How many nuclear weapons does Britain have? Non-Proliferation explained 

How many nuclear weapons does Britain have? Non-Proliferation explained

BORIS JOHNSON has been accused of infringing international laws with his plans for British nuclear proliferation. How many nuclear weapons does Britain have?, By LIAM DOYLE May 18, 2021

 The current crop of roughly 195 warheads sits in an ocean-based fleet of Vanguard-class ballistic missile submarines.

They operate on a continuous patrol to preserve the UK’s deterrence policy from the sea.

Britain has previously committed to non-proliferation and intended to limit its stockpile.

Mr Johnson’s predecessors outlined these intentions in the 1968 Treaty on Non-Proliferation and the Strategic Defence and Security Review.

The latter policy, brought forward by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, aimed to reduce national stockpiles by 65 percent during the 2020s.

The Government’s 2021 Integrated Review found it could no longer commit to this policy.

The Prime Minister intends to push the UK’s stockpile up by 40 percent to “no more than 260 warheads”.

The review cites the current “security environment” as its primary reason for proliferation.

And this is where the earlier 1968 treaty comes into play.

Nuclear and non-nuclear powers alike signed the Treaty on Non-Proliferation as a collaborative pledge to limit nuclear technologies.

The treaty attracted the UK, US, the then Soviet Union and a further 59 other signatories.

The ratified document prevents non-nuclear states from acquiring weapons, commits nuclear states to push for disarmament, and allowed all participants to access technology for peaceful purposes.

Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project, said the Government’s latest pursuit would break parameters set by the treaty.

He cited Article 6, which commits signatories to step-by-step disarmament, specifically.

Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), added the “dangerous” decision “violates international law”.

She added: “While the majority of the world’s nations are leading the way to a safer future without nuclear weapons by joining the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the United Kingdom is pushing for a dangerous new nuclear arms race.”


May 20, 2021 - Posted by | UK, weapons and war

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