The United Kingdom voted against the UN General Assembly resolutions on the TPNW in 2018, 2019, and 2020. In 2017, the government said that the United Kingdom 'does not intend to sign, ratify or become party to' the TPNW. It further stated that '[t]he unpredictable international security environment we face today demands the maintenance of our nuclear deterrent for the foreseeable future.' More than 30 bishops of the Church of England published a letter in the Observer on 15 November 2020, calling on the UK government to sign the TPNW. Despite the UK government's position, the devolved government in Scotland has reiterated repeatedly its opposition to nuclear weapons. The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the majority of Scottish parliamentarians both in the Scottish Parliament and among those who represent Scotland in the UK Parliament at Westminster have signed ICAN's Parliamentary Pledge and spoken out in support of the TPNW. The cities of Edinburgh and Manchester have joined ICAN’s Cities Appeal. See: bit.ly/2mp3twV, bit.ly/37DegYk, bit.ly/2ms2psg.
- The United Kingdom should acknowledge that nuclear deterrence is not a sustainable solution for its own or international security, and that any perceived benefits are far outweighed by the risk of nuclear accidents or war. It should move rapidly to verifiably reduce and eliminate its nuclear arsenal.
- The United Kingdom should urgently sign and ratify the TPNW, and encourage other states to adhere to the Treaty. Until it is in a position to do so, it should welcome the TPNW as a valuable contribution to the global disarmament and non-proliferation architecture, attend its meetings of states parties as an observer, and work with its states parties on practical steps towards disarmament.
- The United Kingdom should implement in good faith its obligations under Article VI of the NPT. It should conclude and bring into force a full Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (CSA) and Additional Protocol (AP) with the IAEA.