The 2021 Integrated Review set out the government’s vision for the future. This page outlines what it says about the UK’s nuclear deterrent.
So we need more nuclear warheads “in recognition of the evolving security environment, including the developing range of technological and doctrinal threats”. And we are going to announce that we might use the weapons first, against a non-nuclear-armed state.The fundamental purpose of our nuclear weapons is to preserve peace, prevent coercion and deter aggression. A minimum, credible, independent nuclear deterrent, assigned to the defence of NATO, remains essential in order to guarantee our security and that of our Allies. In 2010 the Government stated an intent to reduce our overall nuclear warhead stockpile ceiling from not more than 225 to not more than 180 by the mid-2020s.
However, 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.
To ensure that our deterrent is not vulnerable to pre-emptive action by potential adversaries, we will maintain our four submarines so that at least one will always be on a Continuous At Sea Deterrent patrol. Our submarines on patrol are at several days’ notice to fire and, since 1994, we do not target our missiles at any state. We remain committed to maintaining the minimum destructive power needed to guarantee that the UK’s nuclear deterrent remains credible and effective against the full range of state nuclear threats from any direction.
I seem to recall that we are committed to a gradual reduction as a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and we spend a lot of time trying to prevent other countries from acquiring these things.
Have the inmates really now taken over the asylum? Oh no, there is a logical reason - it might go down well with Conservative voters, alongside the reduction in foreign aid.
Does anybody else care? Can anybody talk me out of finding this the most depressing news for a long time?
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