On Saturday, May 11, CND will lead a nationwide day of action opposing the return of US nuclear bombs to Britain. The demonstrations will take place in various locations across the country, including outside the US embassy in London, at the main gate of RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, Manchester, Sheffield, Bradford, and Swansea.

Since April 2022, CND has been aware of US plans to deploy the new B61-12 guided nuclear bomb to Britain. These new bombs have been designed specifically to fit F35A fighter jets already stationed at RAF Lakenheath. With tensions still dangerously high between NATO and Russia, this puts Britain on the front line of any nuclear conflict between the two. CND calls on the British government to publicly refuse any deployment of US nuclear weapons to Britain, and to work towards diffusing nuclear tensions in Europe.

Timeline of Suspicion

  • April 2022: The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) spots the addition of the UK to a US government defense contract for the upgrade of nuclear storage bunkers to safely store the new B61-12 guided nuclear bomb.
  • June 2022: The BBC reports that the US will double the amount of squadrons of the nuclear-capable F-35 fighter jet based at Lakenheath.
  • November 2022: It’s suggested that the US has pushed forward its deployment schedule for the B61-12 to European bases to spring 2023.
  • November 2022: The C-17 Globemaster III aircraft is cleared to transport the B61-12 to US/NATO bases in Europe.
  • August 2023: FAS reports on more US Air Force documents, this time for the construction of accommodation for a potential ‘surety mission’ at RAF Lakenheath. The term ‘surety’ is used to refer to keeping nuclear weapons safe. FAS says this strongly implies that a US nuclear presence is being re-established in Britain.
  • September 2023: Snap polling by YouGov finds that 59 percent of the British public opposes the return of US nuclear weapons to Britain.
  • November 2023: CND legally challenges planning rights for nuclear weapons facilities development at RAF Lakenheath.
  • January 2024: Media reports on more Pentagon procurement documents for buildings related to a nuclear weapons mission at RAF Lakenheath.

Activists will return to RAF Lakenheath later this summer for an international peace camp organised by the Lakenheath Alliance for Peace coalition, taking place from 13-24 July.

CND General Secretary Kate Hudson said:

“US nuclear weapons coming to Britain further integrate us into the US war machine. News of the deployment, which goes back to April 2022, has already been met by Russia moving its own nuclear weapons into Belarus. The British government can stop this from escalating further by saying no to any US nuclear mission in Britain. Public opinion is with us. And public resistance can press the government to reject these plans – and prevent these terrible weapons from making us a target.”

CND Chair Tom Unterrainer said:

“CND stands firmly opposed to this dangerous and destabilising development. Persistent local and national campaigning got US nuclear weapons removed from Lakenheath before. Together, we can do it again. The British government’s acquiescence to US nuclear deployments to Britain, without any opposition, transparency, or oversight, is completely shameful. We call on the British public to join local events this Saturday and send a firm message that the deployment of nuclear weapons to this country will not happen quietly.”