Tomorrow, the long-awaited report from the Integrated Review of security, defence, development and foreign policy will be published. The Review was announced more than a year ago. Several partners of the Investing in Change steering group submitted responses to the call for evidence which was open in August and September.
It is profoundly disappointing, then, to see that, despite such a wide-ranging brief which went beyond narrow conceptions of international relations grounded in militarism, the Integrated Review is set to signal an increase in the number of Trident nuclear warheads for the first time since the Cold War.
Currently the UK has around 180 warheads, down from a peak of 500 in the 1970s. While the exact amount of the increase is not yet known, it is clear that this move is not in the spirit of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, of which the UK Government are a signatory and a vocal proponent. Nor is it in good faith with the new international Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which signals an international consensus on the issue of nuclear weapons. While the Government are not a signatory of the latter treaty, this move is still a dangerous and expensive one which will hardly secure our national security.
The warheads currently used by the UK are nearly 7 times more powerful than those used at Hiroshima – a bomb which instantly killed around 140,000 people. We do not need more of these weapons to ensure our safety – in fact, the opposite is true.
If you want to take action, why not write to your bank or pension provider to let them know that you don’t want your money financing these weapons?