Government set to increase UK nuclear warhead numbers

The Government is set to announce an increase in the number of Trident nuclear warheads the UK will hold when the Integrated Review of foreign and defence policy is published on Tuesday 16 March.

The number of warheads the UK holds has been decreasing since its peak of around 500 at the end of the Cold War. The last Strategic Defence and Security Review, which was published in 2015, suggested that the number of stockpiled warheads would be capped at 180 by the mid 2020s and no more than 120 be operational.

Any decision to increase the number of warheads would be a provocative move from the UK, especially given the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which enshrines the principle of reducing stockpiles with the ultimate aim of elimination. The decision also comes as much of the international community continues to support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which bans nuclear weapons in the same way as chemical and biological weapons have previously been banned.

Each one of the UK’s nuclear warheads is around eight times as powerful as those dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Christian CND shares the deep concerns of campaigners and many politicians in the UK and around the world about these reports and we hope that the Government will have a change of heart.