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Nuclear Weapons

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN HL208, tabled on 13 May 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what studies they undertook to inform the decision to increase nuclear warhead numbers as announced in the policy paper, Global Britain in a Competitive Age: the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, published on 16 March.

Answered on

27 May 2021

While undertaking the Integrated Review, the Government engaged with a variety of stakeholders with an interest in our nation's security and prosperity, and the global challenges the UK will face over the coming years. These included allies, partners, civil society organisations and businesses.

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. This judgement includes an assessment of the decision-making processes of future potential aggressors, and an analysis of the defensive measures that they might employ. Therefore, in recognition of the developing range of technological and doctrinal threats the UK will increase the overall nuclear weapon stockpile ceiling from no more than 225 to no more than 260 warheads, an increase of 15 per cent.