[Headline News] The UK Changes Its Nuclear Retaliation Policy

Author: MOS Writing Group – Billwilliam

On March 16, the British government published a national security report, which declares it is changing the rules over its nuclear weapons.

The report, titled “Global Britain in a competitive age,” is a comprehensive work that outlines British strategies and visions on national security, economic prosperity, and technological innovation. The section on nuclear deterrence on page 76 states the UK will raise the cap on its nuclear arsenal from 180 nuclear warheads to 260. The UK boosts its nuclear deterrence power in response to potential threats like Communist China and Russia.

Admittedly, this report is somewhat flawed in that it only identifies Russia as an acute threat while designating Communist China as a “systematic competitor” that the UK will keep an eye on but continue to engage.

However, the report also has its merits. In the report, the UK quietly changes its nuclear strike policy. Previously, the British government has promised it will not use nuclear weapons against any non-nuclear-weapon signatory to the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty of 1968 (NPT). But according to the report, this policy is subject to changes.

The report states on page 77:

However, we reserve the right to review this assurance if the future threat of weapons of mass destruction, such as chemical and biological capabilities, or emerging technologies that could have a comparable impact, makes it necessary.”

In essence, the quote above says that the UK will review its policy and may resort to nuclear retaliation if attacked by chemical or biological weapons. The timing of this report is particularly of note. Under the political backdrop that Communist China is unleashing COVID-19 as a bioweapon, the implication is significant.

Mr. Miles Guo indicated in his Livestream that the US will publish an official document in the coming weeks to explain the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic. The world awaits to see how NATO will react if the document points a damning finger at the Chinese Communist Party for attacking with a biological weapon.  


Global Britain in a competitive age: The Integrated Review of Security, Defense, Development and Foreign Policy,” The British government, March 16, 2021, ISBN: 978-1-5286-2453-4

Proofreader: Rica | Reviewer: Irene

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