UK's Nuclear Deterrent

Part of Terrorist Attack: Nice – in the House of Commons at 4:15 pm on 18th July 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Theresa May Theresa May The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 4:15 pm, 18th July 2016

The hon. Lady is absolutely right. As I pointed out earlier, Russia is also modernising its nuclear capability. It would be a dereliction of our duty, in terms of our responsibility for the safety and security of the British people, if we were to give up our nuclear deterrent.

We must send an unequivocal message to any adversary that the cost of an attack on our United Kingdom or our allies will always be far greater than anything it might hope to gain through such an attack. Only the retention of our own independent deterrent can do this. This Government will never endanger the security of our people and we will never hide behind the protection provided by others, while claiming the mistaken virtue of unilateral disarmament.

Let me turn to the question of our moral duty to lead nuclear disarmament. Stopping nuclear weapons being used globally is not achieved by giving them up unilaterally. It is achieved by working towards a multilateral process. That process is important and Britain could not be doing more to support this vital work. Britain is committed to creating the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons, in line with our obligations under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.