UK's Nuclear Deterrent

Part of Terrorist Attack: Nice – in the House of Commons at 7:26 pm on 18th July 2016.

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Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster Conservative, Torbay 7:26 pm, 18th July 2016

I apologise to my hon. Friend, but I will press on, given the time.

Although NATO depends on mutual defence, how confident are we that future United States Governments will want to continue to accept 70% of NATO’s bill? How many people are confident that Donald Trump—once an ambassador for business in Scotland—would put the defence of Europe at the top of his list? If he did not, the deterrence against aggression from the east against our eastern allies would ultimately be determined by Britain and France possessing an effective nuclear deterrent.

There are arguments about biological and chemical weapons, but the reality is that if an attack with such weapons was launched against this country by an aggressor state, one part of our potential response would be the consideration of a nuclear response, so that argument does not defeat the need for a deterrent.

Finally, on the argument that international law could get rid of all nuclear weapons, sadly I think that some of the rogue states that are likely to be a threat would just file it along with all the other bits of international law that they are breaking. This debate is about the UK’s ultimate insurance policy and ensuring that we can meet the threats of the future, so there is only one vote that Members can sensibly make this evening, and that vote is Aye.