Hague announces size of UK nuclear arsenal



William Hague has announced to Parliament
that the new coalition government intends to reveal the size of the
UK's nuclear arsenal and that it will review policies on the use of
nuclear weapons.

"For the first time, the government will make
public the maximum number of nuclear warheads that the UK will hold in
its stockpile. In the future our overall stockpile will not exceed 225
nuclear warheads," the Foreign Secretary told parliament during the debate on the Queen's speech.

The  previous Labour government had announced that no more than 160
warheads would be operationally deployed, but the new announcement
shows that the UK's stockpile remains considerably larger than this.
The government maintains that the extra warheads are to allow for
"processing, maintenance and logistic management".

Mr Hague also told Parliament that the government will review policy on when
it would consider using nuclear weapons as part of the defence and security review.

"We've decided that the time is right to look
again at our policy as the U.S. has done in their recent Nuclear
Posture Review to ensure that it is fully appropriate to the political
and security context in 2010 and beyond," he said.

However, it remains unclear as to whether the costs, options, and
need for replacing Trident will be considered in the defence review.