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Nuclear Deterrent

Volume 584: debated on Monday 14 July 2014

Government policy remains as set out in the 2010 strategic defence and security review: we will maintain a continuous submarine-based deterrent and are proceeding with the programme to replace our existing submarines.

There are potential threats from hostile regimes around the world, and I have heard what the Secretary of State has already had to say. Does he agree, however, that any surrender of our deterrent would not only leave us vulnerable but weaken our position as a permanent member of the UN Security Council?

My hon. Friend is exactly right, although of course we maintain our strategic deterrent as the ultimate guarantee of our sovereignty and independence of action. It is worth remembering that there are still 17,000 nuclear weapons in the world, and so long as that is the case, we must be able to protect the British people against them.

As the hon. Member for Moray (Angus Robertson) just had the finger rather distinctly pointed at him, I rather thought that he might be pricked into responding.

It appears not. Never mind, he is a model of calm and patience. We will move on—I think we will get Sir Peter Luff in.