UK To Reduce Nuclear Stockpile Before 2030

As part of a foreign policy overhaul, the UK has resumed plans to rebate its stockpile of nuclear weapons by the middle of the decade.

The overall cap on the number of warheads will now increase to 260, having been due to drop to 180 under previous plans from 2010.

The UK nuclear stockpile is estimated to comprise 195 warheads, and had been due to fall to 180 by the mid-2020s under a 2010 defence review.

The UK will shift focus towards Indo-Pacific countries, described as the world’s “growth engine”.

And it pledges the UK will do more on the “systemic challenge” of China.

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said the UK would have to “relearn the art” of competing against countries with “opposing values”.

While adding that the UK would remain “unswervingly committed” to the Nato Defence Alliance and preserving peace and security in Europe.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer accused the Conservatives of overseeing an “era of retreat,” with armed forces cuts “every year for the last decade”.

Meanwhile, a security assessment showed that the UK will no longer publish figures on the size of its operational stockpile, to maintain “deliberate ambiguity” for adversaries.

However, it pledges the UK will maintain the “minimum destructive power needed to guarantee that the UK’s nuclear deterrent remains credible”.

The review, which identifies Russia as the “most acute threat” to UK security, also says it is “likely” that a terrorist group might launch a successful chemical, biological or nuclear attack by 2030

It also added that the UK will set up a new counter-terrorism operations centre to improve the response to terror attacks while the government would initiate plans for the UK to become a “science and tech superpower” by the end of the decade

The review also pledged to reverse cuts on foreign aid, from 0.7% of national income down to 0.5%, when “the fiscal situation allows”.

The government has previously faced criticism for the cuts, which it said were necessary in the wake of financial challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Patsy Nwogu

Reporting on data-driven featured stories and investigations.

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