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

I am pleased that the hon. Gentleman has asked that question. Having set out the reason for the uncertainty of the future we face, I want in my remaining minutes to dispel some of the myths that are mentioned when nuclear weapons are debated. Nobody here believes that nuclear weapons will in any circumstances deter the sort of attacks—the awful attacks, as we all accept—that we have seen on the London underground or in Nice, for example. Of course not. Nuclear weapons are not meant to deal with that; we have conventional weapons, counter-terrorism specialists and so forth to deal with those terrorist outrages. Nuclear weapons are there to deal with the sort of inter-state actors we might see in Russia, China, North Korea or other rogue states that we cannot predict at the present time. That is what nuclear weapons are for—not for the situation articulated by John Nicolson.