UK sells its nuclear weapons stake to U.S. company

In a hush-hush deal, the British government just sold its last shares in the country’s nuclear weapons plant to a U.S. company. California-based Jacobs Engineering Group paid an undisclosed amount for the government’s one-third stake in the only plant in the UK that manufactures nuclear weapons, including Trident warheads. Lockheed Martin owns another third of ...

590917_081222_trident5.jpg
590917_081222_trident5.jpg

In a hush-hush deal, the British government just sold its last shares in the country's nuclear weapons plant to a U.S. company. California-based Jacobs Engineering Group paid an undisclosed amount for the government's one-third stake in the only plant in the UK that manufactures nuclear weapons, including Trident warheads. Lockheed Martin owns another third of the plant, and a British business services company the remaining third.

The sale wasn't announced to Parliament, leaving some MPs to speculate that the government sold the plant at below market rates to get some much-needed funds for the Treasury. Critically, it means that all production, design, and decommissioning of nuclear weapons in the UK is privately owned, with U.S. companies having a majority stake.

Photo: Getty Images

In a hush-hush deal, the British government just sold its last shares in the country’s nuclear weapons plant to a U.S. company. California-based Jacobs Engineering Group paid an undisclosed amount for the government’s one-third stake in the only plant in the UK that manufactures nuclear weapons, including Trident warheads. Lockheed Martin owns another third of the plant, and a British business services company the remaining third.

The sale wasn’t announced to Parliament, leaving some MPs to speculate that the government sold the plant at below market rates to get some much-needed funds for the Treasury. Critically, it means that all production, design, and decommissioning of nuclear weapons in the UK is privately owned, with U.S. companies having a majority stake.

Photo: Getty Images

Carolyn O'Hara is a senior editor at Foreign Policy.

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