Responding the news, the UN Secretary General's office described the plans as contrary to the UK's obligations under Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Irish CND is shocked and repulsed by this move by our nearest neighbour to increase the capacity of its weapons of mass destruction. At a time when the planet faces existential threats from climate change and global biodiversity loss, not to mention the likelihood of future pandemics in addition to the current Covid-19 crisis, pouring vast sums into the power of destruction is reckless and immoral.
In 2019, the UK spent £7.2 billion on its nuclear weapons. How many doctors, nurses, intensive care beds and ventilators could that money have financed? How many programmes to decarbonise the UK economy and lessen the impacts of climate change could it have supported?
Denouncing the plans, Irish CND chairperson, Dr David Hutchinson Edgar, said: "At a time when the United Kingdom claims to aspire to a renewed role in global leadership, its government has chosen to cling desperately to the flotsam of the failed policies of the 1950s and '60s instead of looking to the future with a meaningful vision of global security. Nuclear weapons have never made the world safer. They can play no part in tackling the genuine crises that the world faces today.
"This egotistical move threatens suffering and death on an unimaginable scale, were these weapons ever to be detonated, either by accident or intentionally. Even if they are never used, this move will still contribute to suffering and death for many, many people, both in the UK and further afield, which could have been averted by putting the huge cost of these weapons to better use. Nuclear weapons are a symbol of shame, not status, for the British government."
“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.”