CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

'NUCLEAR DETERRENT'

Southern Daily Echo ­– 11 October 2006

Having ploughed almost to the bottom of a very long column (In My View, October 7) by David Harrison  supposedly responding to mine on the need to retain and replace our  nuclear deterrent, I finally discovered his sole significant point. He believes that "with the Cold War consigned to the history books, we must address new threats to our security" and spend the money on other things.

It is, however, only some 15 years since our confrontation with the Soviet Union ended, and a similar period will elapse before our present deterrent comes to the end of its life. We have to decide soon whether  to replace it with a new system – a  system which will be in operation from about 2020 until about 2055.

No-one can possibly know what  threats will face this country in the next half century: they may be very different from the "new threats" which face us today. That is why Conservatives will not support the abolition of our ultimate deterrent – and, I hope, Liberal Democrats more senior than David Harrison will also be wise enough to share my view.

JULIAN LEWIS
MP for New Forest East