Briefing: Leading by Example: Reforming UK Nuclear Declaratory Policy

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In May 2017, BASIC and the United Nations Association-UK published Meaningful Multilateralism: 30 Nuclear Disarmament Proposals for the Next UK Government. The report outlined three historic forms of British leadership in multilateral nuclear disarmament: diplomatic leadership, technical leadership and leadership by example. By reforming its nuclear declaratory policy, the UK has an opportunity to demonstrate leadership by example on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation without negatively impacting its established nuclear deterrent posture. This briefng offers a number of suggestions which involve strengthening negative security assurances to non-nuclear weapon states, committing never to use nuclear weapons rst, stating explicitly that their sole use is to deter nuclear use or blackmail and clarifying that they are a weapon of last resort. These measures, each of which could be considered independently, would reduce nuclear tensions and breathe life into efforts to promote multilateral nuclear disarmament.

Download the briefing paper here or click on the cover below.

About the author(s)...
  • Sebastian Brixey-Williams, Project Leader writes on multilateral disarmament and arms control, submarine vulnerabilities and strategic responsibility.
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