UK planning to increase nuclear weapons stockpile: govt review

WION Web Team
New DelhiUpdated: Mar 16, 2021, 06:34 PM IST

Representative image Photograph:(DNA)

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The announcement has reversed a trend seen since the end of Cold War

Reversing a trend of disarmament, Britain on Tuesday announced plans to increase its stockpile of nuclear weapons.

"The UK will move to an overall nuclear weapon stockpile of no more than 260 warheads," said a government review of defence, security and foreign policy. The review said that emerging threats no longer made it possible to stick to commitment to reduce warheads. 

It is being viewed that UK is taking the step with Russia and China in mind.

In recent years, the UK has had its share of disagreements with both Russia and China on an array of issues ranging from cyber-attacks to human rights to espionage. Many people within the UK have called for the country’s “Trident nuclear programme” to be scrapped, as the global calls for denuclearisation increase.

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Beatrice Fihn accused the UK of being “irresponsible and dangerous”, while adding how this move violates international law.

Meanwhile, the review of country's post-Brexit 'Global Britain' vision concluded that the UK must shift its foreign policy focus to Indo-Pacific region. The review suggests that countries such as India, Australia and Japan should be at the heart of the move.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who will formally release the review in the House of Commons later on Tuesday, is to activate the so-called Indo-Pacific tilt with a visit to India at the end of next month, an application for partner status of the Association of South East Asian nations (ASEAN) economic union and the Royal Navy warship Queen Elizabeth Carrier deployment to the region.

(With agency inputs)