DEFENCE – BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENCE – 3 May 2001

Dr Julian Lewis: Does the Foreign Secretary [Robin Cook] recall – on the day on which he is possibly making his last outing as Foreign Secretary – those happy, carefree times when he used to describe it as "nonsense on stilts for Britain to pretend to be a nuclear power"? Does he recall his reactions when the American President of the day originally proposed ballistic missile defence? Will he accept the sympathy of those Conservative Members who have consistently supported nuclear deterrence for his position now, as he finds himself attacked from his own Back Benches by people who stick to the views that he used to stick to but has now abandoned? Does he realise that many of us understand why he has recently taken to lowering his voice when he answers these embarrassing questions?