UK's Nuclear Deterrent

Part of Terrorist Attack: Nice – in the House of Commons at 7:49 pm on 18th July 2016.

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Photo of James Cartlidge James Cartlidge Conservative, South Suffolk 7:49 pm, 18th July 2016

It is an honour to be called in a debate of such national importance. For me, there is one compelling image that encapsulates why I will be voting with the Government, and I am sure many other Members have witnessed it. It is those unforgettable, harrowing glass cabinets on display in the Auschwitz museum—the piles of human hair, the mountains of shoes from the victims of the Nazis, which are a permanent, timeless reminder to all of us what happens when peoples and nations are tyrannised and brutalised in existential war.

For me, regardless of all the other arguments, that is overwhelmingly and singularly the key argument. I never, ever want to see my country again in the position that it was in in the 1940s, when we were faced with an existential threat. We were on the verge of being invaded and if that had been successful, we too would have had concentration camps in this country, and all the brutality that would have followed from that.

There may be those who say that such a war is incredibly unlikely. I say to them that there is only one guarantee against it, and that is the nuclear deterrent, however unpalatable that may be. In 1918, people would not have believed that there would be another world war, and surely not another world war even more brutal than the one that they had just experienced, but none of us can predict the future.