Jacob Rees-Mogg criticises Gary Lineker over BBC wage
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Gary Lineker has shared his dismay on Twitter after Boris Johnson announced moves to increase Britain’s nuclear weapons by nearly half. The government’s integrated defence review on Tuesday said the UK would be increasing the size of its nuclear arsenal by 40 per cent, to 260 warheads.
It comes after the government committed itself to reducing its stockpile to 180 by the mid-2020s, but the review of this policy would be changed “in recognition of the evolving security environment, including the developing range of technological and doctrinal threats”.
In view of his 7.8 million Twitter followers, the Match Of The Day presenter unleashed his fury at the decision.
The 60-year-old admitted he was confused about the increase of nuclear weapons during a global pandemic which he believed would lead to “economic chaos”.
Gary tweeted: “Why would you feel the need to increase the number of nuclear weapons, especially now with the inevitable economic chaos caused by a pandemic?
“If we ever have to launch even just one, we’ll all be f****d anyway.”
His comment sparked numerous comments from social media users and gained over 8,000 likes within an hour.
The announcement comes despite the UK being a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which commits the government to gradual nuclear disarmament under international law – a policy successive administrations have stuck to.
Outlining the strategy to MPs, Boris Johnson said the UK would have to “relearn the art” of competing against countries with “opposing values”.
But he added the UK would remain “unswervingly committed” to the NATO defence alliance and preserving peace and security in Europe.
The UK stockpile is estimated to comprise of 195 warheads and had been due to fall to 180 in the mid-2020s.
But the latest assessment says this ambition is “no longer possible” given the “evolving security environment” over the last decade.
It adds that the UK will no longer publish figures on the size of its operational stockpile, to maintain “deliberate ambiguity” for adversaries.
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They also confirmed that the Royal Navy would maintain four nuclear-armed submarines to ensure one is available at any time to fire.
The new strategy also shared concerns over the activities of China and Russia with plans set for the UK to ’tilt’ towards the Indo-Pacific region to boost the country’s cyber and space defences as another layer of protection.
The integrated review of foreign and defence policies, which runs to over 100 pages, has taken over a year and sets out UK priorities until 2030.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer accused the Conservatives of overseeing an “era of retreat,” with armed forces cuts “every year for the last decade”.
He said: “The Labour party’s support for nuclear deterrence is non-negotiable, but this review breaks the goal of successive Prime Ministers and cross-party efforts to reduce our nuclear stockpile.”
Ahead of its publication, Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, said: “Over time, as the circumstances change and the threats change, we need to maintain a minimum credible level of deterrent.
“Why? Because it is the ultimate guarantee, the ultimate insurance policy against the worst threat from hostile states.”
The move has sparked anger in the House of Commons as critics believe the government have reneged on their nuclear promise.
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