NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde at Faslane, Scotland, at the invitation of Michael Fallon.
The visit included a tour of a UK Vanguard class deterrent submarine, a training facility and a Royal Navy frigate.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon welcomed NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the North Atlantic Council to Faslane, he said:
“Now the UK remains firmly committed to the long term goal of a world without nuclear weapons. As Secretary of State, I reduced the number of deployed warheads on each submarine from 48 to 40 and the number of operationally available warheads to no more than 120. Just as we remain committed to reducing our overall stockpile of nuclear warheads to no more than 180 by the mid-2020s.
Yet, at the same time, we remain realistic. The total number of nuclear weapons in the world did not suddenly fall. Much as we would love to live in a world without nuclear weapons. We cannot uninvent them.
Our deterrent ensures our adversaries are left in no doubt that the benefits of any attack will be vastly outweighed by the consequences.
No credible alternative exists. And we see no reason to change our posture.
Protect Our Alliance But this brings me back to the point at which I started. Our nuclear deterrent isn’t just essential for our security. it’s essential for NATO’s security as well. It forms one of the Alliance’s key centres of decision making that complicates the calculations of our adversaries.
What is more, many nations, represented here today signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in the late 1960s, safe in the knowledge they were covered by NATO’s nuclear umbrella including the United Kingdom deterrent. Not only did that deal help halt the nuclear arms race at the time, it has helped to cut the world’s nuclear stockpile by 85%.”