Can the UK Defend Against a Nuclear Attack?

The United Kingdom is committed to the goal of a world without nuclear weapons and supports the full implementation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The UK is one of five nuclear-weapon states under the NPT, and has the smallest nuclear capacity of all recognized nuclear-weapon states, accounting for less than one percent of the global inventory. In 1952, the UK became the third country to develop and test nuclear weapons. Professor Futter warned that if nuclear deterrence failed, the UK would be “destroyed” as a “working state”.

He said that it could not withstand a single major explosion, let alone multiple attacks on British soil. Julie McDowall, host of the Atomic Hobo podcast, said that if an attack were to occur, dispersing small groups of ministers and staff would be the surest way to ensure that some form of government can continue. The US Atomic Energy Act of 1946 (McMahon Act) restricted other countries' access to nuclear weapons information. The NPT has played an important role in containing the nuclear arms race and in minimizing the spread of nuclear weapons.

NATO has prepared a graph that uses Russia's expanding arsenal as an example of this trend and compares it with the systems possessed by the United Kingdom and other nuclear-weapon states of NATO, France and the United States. Mr. Lucas believes that Britain has a strong nuclear deterrent power, in addition to a very good chance that nuclear missiles will be intercepted with the help of the American “star wars” system. Fears of a nuclear attack increased this week when Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, said that the risk of nuclear war is considerable due to Western countries supplying weapons to Ukrainian forces.

He said that they would be more likely to be smaller nuclear weapons known as tactical nuclear weapons, used within Ukraine. The risk of nuclear conflict remains remote, but threats facing the United Kingdom increase in scale, diversity and complexity. The UK remains committed to its ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons and supports full implementation of the NPT in all its aspects.

Bradford Tutwiler
Bradford Tutwiler

Devoted internet fanatic. General twitter aficionado. Total tv buff. General travel lover. Hardcore pop culture evangelist. Award-winning food nerd.

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