Nuclear Deterrent

David Jones Conservative, Clwyd West 2:30 pm, 18th January 2016
What recent representations he has received against replacing the independent nuclear deterrent.

Michael Fallon The Secretary of State for Defence
My Department regularly receives representations covering a wide range of views on defence matters, including the replacement of the independent nuclear deterrent.

David Jones Conservative, Clwyd West
North Korea recently announced that it had tested a hydrogen bomb and only yesterday boasted that it had the capacity to obliterate the United States. To what extent does my right hon. Friend think North Korea would be deterred in its nuclear ambition by the knowledge that somewhere below the surface of the East China sea an unarmed submarine was lurking?s

Michael Fallon The Secretary of State for Defence
First, let me strongly condemn the nuclear tests conducted by North Korea, which seriously threaten regional and international security. I can assure my right hon. Friend that this Government will not gamble with the long-term security of our citizens. We remain committed to maintaining an independent nuclear deterrent. The only thing a nuclear submarine without nuclear weapons is likely to deter is anybody who cares about our security from ever voting Labour again.

John Woodcock Labour/Co-operative, Barrow and Furness
If the UK were to go down the route of decommissioning its warheads, in the so-called Japanese style, and then were to decide it needed to recommission them at some future point, is it the Government’s assessment that it could do so and remain compatible with the non-proliferation treaty?

Michael Fallon The Secretary of State for Defence
First, let me make it clear that Japan does not have nuclear-powered submarines and does not have nuclear weapons, so talk of some Japanese option is entirely farcical. So far as the hon. Gentleman’s question is concerned, we have no intention of decommissioning.

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