CND groups can use these talking points when speaking to the media about the return of US nuclear weapons to Britain:

Over $400 million has been spent by the US on upgrading RAF Lakenheath and other US bases in Europe to store the new B61-12 guided gravity nuclear bomb. The British government as usual says it will not confirm or deny their presence. We’re calling on them to explicitly reject any transfer of US nuclear weapons to Britain.

Lakenheath is the forward base for US F-35s in Europe. In 2022, it was selected to host two squadrons (54 planes) of the F-35, the aircraft that will deliver US nuclear bombs. Now the US is building a surety dormitory to house the additional personnel needed for holding nuclear weapons at the base.  The base is also installing “Stationary and Mobile Guard Shacks” to protect troops needed for the “upcoming nuclear mission”, according to US DoD documents.

-CND is questioning the legality of the planning rights used by RAF Lakenheath authorities for these constructions works with West Suffolk Council. CND claims the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and West Suffolk Council have failed to assess the environmental impact of potentially facilitating the weapons at the Suffolk airbase and has called on the MoD to halt development works at RAF Lakenheath while the necessary screening is carried out. 

-Public awareness of the nuclear weapons deployment is growing, and the majority of the British public are opposed to it. A survey conducted by YouGov in late August 2023 found that 59% were either opposed or strongly opposed to a US nuclear mission in Britain.

-The explosive power of the B61-12 guided gravity bomb can be varied. It has a maximum yield (50kt) over three times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima (15kt). Its smallest yield of .3kt means their actual use may be more likely.

– Up until late 2023, the US was the only country to station its nuclear weapons in a third country. Russia has now done the same by deploying nuclear weapons to Belarus. So sending US nukes to Britain hasn’t made us safer. In fact it has already put us at greater risk, as any nuclear war between Russia and the US would involve Britain too.

– If the US nuclear weapons return, Britain will then join five other European countries (Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Turkey, and Italy) that host US nuclear weapons. This ensures that Europe will be the front line of any wider nuclear war between Russia and the US.

We are also concerned about accidents and the polluting effects of the F-35. The F-35 uses a significant amount of fuel – about 2.37 gallons of fuel for every mile travelled, and around 1,340 gallons of fuel per hour (three times the amount of its predecessor the F-16).

One single F-35 tank of gas produces the equivalent of 28 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

-There have been near misses with aircraft carrying nuclear weapons at Lakenheath in the past. The F-35 has been plagued with development problems, mishaps, and accidents.