BRITAIN has “no defence” against a Russian nuclear strike, which would “destroy the UK as a functioning state”, a nuclear weapons expert has told Express.co.uk.
By ELLIE COOK
00:00, Mon, May 9, 2022 | UPDATED: 09:01, Mon, May 9, 2022
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Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, Vladimir Putin has threatened the UK and its allies with a “lightning-fast” response, understood to be referencing Moscow’s nuclear arsenal. Professor Andrew Futter, an international relations expert at the University of Leicester, told Express.co.uk that the UK’s lack of defensive weaponry in the event of a strike would leave the country defenceless if an attack was launched.
The UK has not invested in active defensive technologies since the 1990s, Professor Futter explained, placing all the nation’s eggs in the one basket of nuclear deterrence.
Since the late 1960s, the UK has had a continuous at-sea deterrent, which the Government called “the most capable, resilient, and cost-effective platform”.
But the Government added: “The UK maintains only the minimum amount of destructive power needed to guarantee our deterrent remains credible and effective against the full range of state nuclear threats.
“Our submarines on patrol are at several days’ notice to fire and, since 1994, we do not target our missiles at any state.”
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, Vladimir Putin has threatened the UK with nuclear war (Image: Getty)
The UK could not withstand a single large blast and certainly not multiple, Professor Futter warned (Image: Getty)
Professor Futter said: “We don’t have the ability to intercept and destroy incoming Russian ballistic missiles.
“Since the early Cold War, the UK has effectively relied on deterrence because defence (either active missile defences or passive civil defence) are hugely expensive and in some cases unworkable.
“UK policy rests on the threat of nuclear retaliation after a strike.
“No adversary would risk attacking the UK with nukes because they would be attacked with nukes in response.”
Since the late 1960s, the UK has had a continuous at-sea deterrent (Image: Getty)
But staving off any potential nuclear attack is the only way to ensure safety, Professor Futter said.
The UK could not withstand a single large blast, and certainly not multiple strikes on British soil, he warned.
Professor Fitter described a horrifying future in which, if nuclear deterrence failed, the UK would be “destroyed” as a “functioning state”.
He told Express.co.uk: “There is very little defence against a large nuclear explosion on UK soil, let alone several nuclear explosions.