UK's Nuclear Deterrent

Part of Terrorist Attack: Nice – in the House of Commons at 7:57 pm on 18th July 2016.

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Photo of Ruth Smeeth Ruth Smeeth Labour, Stoke-on-Trent North 7:57 pm, 18th July 2016

I am a proud member of both the GMB and Unite trade unions and I stand here today to make the case for our national security, both in terms of the role of the deterrent in an increasingly turbulent world, and for our domestic defence manufacturing capability.

Our country is at a crossroads. Just weeks ago we voted to leave the European Union and to forge our own destiny, but we must do this as part of the family of nations and the global community, embracing our responsibilities as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and as a founder member of the NATO alliance, not running away from them. To be clear, I view the renewal of our continuous at-sea deterrent as a necessary evil. I, like all of us in the Chamber, would like to see a nuclear-free world, but this can be achieved only by international co-operation and be negotiated only from a position of strength.

To disarm ourselves unilaterally would not just be to abandon our responsibilities to our international allies, but would leave us at the mercy of other nuclear powers and would send us, in the words of Nye Bevan, so ably quoted by my hon. Friend Mrs Moon,

“naked into the conference-chamber”.

At a time of unprecedented global turmoil, it would be utter recklessness to abandon a fundamental element of our national security in the name of some abstract ideological objection, however well meaning.