London and Brussels Quarrel Over Nuclear Warhead Equipment

London and Brussels Quarrel Over Nuclear Warhead Equipment

A trade and diplomatic conflict arose between Britain and Belgium after Brussels refused to hand over critical equipment for its NATO ally’s nuclear deterrent force, the Times reported.

Britain reportedly required a specialised high-pressure isostatic press used in the nuclear industry to handle radioactive waste. These products are manufactured by the US-Belgian company EPSI in Antwerp. The Belgian presses are used as part of the production process at the British facility in Aldermaston, responsible for the development, production and maintenance of nuclear warheads, the newspaper said.

The export licence, required after Brexit, was seen as a formality, but Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Georges Gilkinet, who as a member of the Green Party is actively opposed to nuclear weapons, blocked the deal.

The conflict escalated after the UK threatened to cancel a 600-million-euro order for machine guns from Belgium’s FN Herstal, the paper noted.

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