Categories: World

NATO ally Belgium’s eco party uses Brexit rules to BLOCK export of critical nuclear arms tech to UK

NATO ally Belgian green party coalition uses Brexit rules to BLOCK export of critical nuclear weapons technology to Britain

  • Export blocked due to ‘resistance to nuclear weapons and arms industry’
  • Concern over the erosion of unity among NATO allies during the war in Russia
  • “We should follow the example of our British allies,” says Belgian MP

NATO allies the UK and Belgium are at odds with Belgium’s green party coalition using Brexit rules to block the export of critical nuclear weapons technology to the UK.

The technology in the middle of the row plays a vital role in preserving the UK’s nuclear deterrent, with Belgium insisting the UK will need an ‘export licence’ to obtain it post-Brexit.

Although both nations are NATO allies, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Georges Gilkinet, a member of the green coalition party Ecolo, has blocked the permit because of “opposition to nuclear weapons and the arms industry,” according to the Times. reported


HMS Vigilant, carrying the UK’s Trident nuclear deterrent, is seen April 29, 2019 in Faslane, Scotland

Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Georges Gilkinet speaks during a plenary session at the Federal Parliament in Brussels on October 27, 2022

This is believed to have led the UK to warn it will cancel a £515 million arms order from the Belgian government unless the export license is approved, with some within the Belgian government concerned about the erosion of the unit under the NATO members during the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. .

The left-wing Ecolo party has also received criticism of the decision from its own government, with the chairman of the MR party, also a member of the coalition, saying that Ecolo must ‘get a grip’.

Related Post

How many nuclear weapons does the UK have?

In March, Boris Johnson moved to boost stockpiles of nuclear warheads owned by the UK – raising the cap from 180 to 260.

The British Trident nuclear deterrent is currently carried by the Royal Navy’s four Vanguard Class submarines.

They will be replaced from 2030 by a new generation of four Dreadnought Class boats, also armed with Trident missiles.

The Vanguard class can carry up to 16 missiles, each armed with up to eight Trident warheads, meaning the 260 warhead ceiling doesn’t allow for all of them to be deployed at once.

‘Refusing to sell equipment to Britain is the greatest dogmatic stupidity. It is unacceptable,” the Times reported to him.

It added that a Christian Democrat MP said: ‘This is all the more outrageous given the UK’s continued military involvement in NATO. . . and particularly in the Ukrainian conflict where we should follow the example of our British allies.’

The technology Belgium is blocking is a specialized isostatic press used to process nuclear waste, a piece of technology only made by a company in Antwerp.

The British Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) uses the press as part of the production and maintenance of nuclear warheads.

According to the Times, a Royal Navy source said that “the continued challenge” of finding the press “does not affect the continued deterrence at sea.”

The UK’s nuclear deterrent consists of the Trident nuclear missile system, carried by a fleet of Royal Navy submarines, including HMS Vigilant.

Headquartered in Aldermaston, Berkshire, AWE supports and maintains Trident, the UK nuclear program based at HMNB Clyde in Faslane, Argyll and Bute.


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