UK's Nuclear Deterrent

Part of Terrorist Attack: Nice – in the House of Commons at 6:39 pm on 18th July 2016.

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Photo of Vernon Coaker Vernon Coaker Labour, Gedling 6:39 pm, 18th July 2016

It is a privilege to follow Tom Tugendhat. I am proud to stand here as someone who upholds a position that the Labour party has always stood for—proud to recognise our international responsibilities and proud to recognise that a strong defence is essential to our country.

There is no Member in this Chamber who does not wish to rid the world of nuclear weapons or who believes that they have a superior morality to anyone else, but people disagree about how to pursue the goal that we all share of reducing the number of nuclear weapons and, if at all possible, of having a world completely free of nuclear weapons. We can make a choice to disarm unilaterally or multilaterally, but we live in a more uncertain world.

Who would have predicted a few years ago the rise of Daesh; who would have predicted what the Russians have done in eastern Ukraine or indeed in Crimea? As far as I can see, in reading back to that time, nobody foresaw those events. Given that we are trying to predict what might happen over the next 40 or 50 years, why would any Government say that they would give up the ultimate insurance policy and security for our nation in those circumstances? I do not believe that the Government should do that. I think that the Prime Minister was right to argue as she did, and I view the motion before us today as reasonable and responsible.