UK's Nuclear Deterrent

Part of Terrorist Attack: Nice – in the House of Commons at 6:58 pm on 18th July 2016.

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Photo of Edward Leigh Edward Leigh Conservative, Gainsborough 6:58 pm, 18th July 2016

That is a powerful point, and I am not taking an absolutist position. I know that many Members do want to take an absolutist position on this, but I am not suggesting today that Cruise missiles are the answer, and my hon. Friend made the powerful point that the whole reason behind our independent nuclear deterrent is that it is not a system of first resort; that is what he was arguing, and he made that point again in that intervention. What I am trying to argue is that when our defence spending is so tightly constrained, whatever the arguments—and they are very powerful arguments—in favour of an independent nuclear deterrent, we have to keep questioning the Government on what was the source-argument for having a ballistic system of massive power designed to penetrate hugely powerful defences around Moscow, because that is not the threat we face today from either low-grade rogue states or terrorist movements.

I will be voting with the Government tonight, but I will not be handing them a blank cheque. I will be continuing to ask for value for money, and I believe every Member of the House should do the same.