PRIME MINISTER – NATO & BIRTHDAY GREETINGS – 29 March 2017

Dr Julian Lewis: Will the Prime Minister reaffirm that the defence of Europe depends not on the EU but on the deterrent effect of article 5 of the NATO treaty, which means that an attack on any European NATO member will involve the United States in its defence from the first hour of the first day? In the spirit of unity, will she join me in congratulating two statesmen on opposite sides of the Brexit debate, Sir John Major and Lord Tebbit of Chingford? They may not share the same views on Europe, but they do share the same birthday today.

[The Prime Minister: I am very happy to wish a happy birthday to members of the Conservative party.

My right hon. Friend raises the important issue of NATO. As I indicated in my answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Louth and Horncastle (Victoria Atkins), NATO is the bedrock of our security and our defence. Article 5 lies at the heart of that security and defence. We will continue to contribute to NATO in the way we have in the past, and we will continue to encourage others to ensure that NATO is able to provide that security in the future, as it has in the past.]