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

My hon. Friend ably outlines the threat we really face.

The horrific attacks in Nice last week were just the latest reminder of the risks we face. We are living through a period of extraordinary global turmoil, with threats coming from not just international terrorist networks but a resurgence in tensions between state actors—not least Russia, as the Defence Committee outlined only this month. Not only should Russian actions in Crimea, Ukraine and the Arctic give us pause for thought, but the Russian nuclear doctrine has also changed radically, and for the worse, since the end of the cold war. Not since the fall of the Berlin wall has our deterrent been so critical to our national security. Russia, with its use of increasingly hostile rhetoric, is lowering its nuclear threshold. This is, therefore, no time for Britain to abandon our nuclear capabilities or our commitments to our friends and allies.

Our military is rightly widely admired as the best in the world, and we in this place owe it to the members of our military to ensure that they are provided with the resources and support they need to ensure that our country is prepared for any scenario. However, we must also look closer to home—to the security of our communities and our economy. On that basis, the argument for our deterrent is unquestionable. Tens of thousands of jobs depend on our commitment to the Successor programme.