Government plans to increase nuclear warhead stockpile illegal say academics

The plans unveiled by the UK government in March to increase the cap on the number of nuclear warheads stockpiled by more than 40% would be a breach of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, according to two leading legal academics.

Prof Christine Chinkin, a longtime consultant for the UN, and Dr Louise Arimatsu, a former fellow at the Nato Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre provided the legal opinion for CND. It states that “The announcement by the UK government of the increase in nuclear warheads and its modernisation of its weapons system constitutes a breach of the NPT article VI.”

This is a view which echos what was said at the time of the announcement by the spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary-General. There have also been other voices around the world denouncing the planned increase, which would see the policy of gradual disarmament, pursued by governments of all strips for thirty years, reversed.

Those speaking out against the plans include Lord McDonald, who was the head civil servant at the Minister of Defence until late last year. He told the House of Lords the increase would be “expensive and incompatible with our obligations under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. In 1968, the non-nuclear weapon states accepted that as their permanent status in exchange for two things: the sharing of the benefits of peaceful nuclear technology, and that nuclear weapon states would work towards nuclear disarmament. The Government assert that the objective is untouched, but the announcement is a step away from its achievement.”

Christian CND continues to join in the efforts to stop the planned increase in the UK nuclear warhead stockpile and praying for those who will be making the decisions. Please join us as we pray.

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