THE INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO ABOLISH NUCLEAR WEAPONS (ICAN) reports that the United Kingdom is expected to announce this evening that instead of decreasing its nuclear weapon arsenal to 180 nuclear warheads by the mid 2020s, it will raise its nuclear warhead cap to 260 warheads. The UK currently has 215 nuclear weapons and had not increased its stockpile since the end of the Cold War.

This move would violate the UK’s own commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to pursue nuclear disarmament and stands in stark contrast with the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which entered into force earlier this year.

Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of ICAN said: “A decision by the United Kingdom to increase its stockpile of weapons of mass destruction in the middle of a pandemic is irresponsible, dangerous and violates international law. While the British people are struggling to cope with the pandemic, an economic crisis, violence against women, and racism, the government choses to increase insecurity and threats in the world. This is toxic masculinity on display.”

“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.”

* Read the Treaty on the Prohibiton of Nuclear Weapons here.

*  Source: ICAN.

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