UK's Nuclear Deterrent

Part of Terrorist Attack: Nice – in the House of Commons at 6:47 pm on 18th July 2016.

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Photo of Bernard Jenkin Bernard Jenkin Chair, Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee 6:47 pm, 18th July 2016

My hon. Friend is right. The cost of maintaining the nuclear deterrent on a year-on-year basis is much less than our aid budget. A year’s cost of the Trident missile submarine system is the equivalent of one week’s spending on the national health service. It is also about a quarter of our net contribution to the European Union, and I look forward to saving that cost.

At about 6% of the overall defence budget and about 2% of GDP, this weapons system represents extraordinarily good-value expenditure, given that it deters large-scale state-on-state warfare. It is a matter of great pride that our country has inherited this role, and, precisely because we do not want every NATO country or every democracy to have nuclear weapons, it is our duty as global citizens to retain the system, contributing, as we do, to the global security and safety of the world.