I agree entirely. We need to maintain the ability to react to chemical, biological and nuclear warfare, and I hope that lesson will be contained in the findings of the modernising defence programme, which should be announced towards the end of the year.
“The policy and practice of the Russian Government has always been to push forward its encroachments as far and as fast as the apathy or want of firmness of other Governments will allow them to go, and always to stop and retire whenever it was met by decided resistance.”
Lord Palmerston knew what he was talking about, because at that point he had just concluded, in victorious fashion, the Crimean war with Russia.
I will finish by saying that this decided resistance—this resolve—has been exemplified in a superb fashion by our Prime Minister and our emergency services. I hope and am confident that this resolve throughout our Government, our armed forces and our emergency services will be maintained in our dealings with Russia long into the future.