The British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson raised the spectre of nuclear war as he demanded more investment in his country’s military.
Williamson warned that Britain might have to use Trident on its enemies unless more is spent on conventional forces:
‘If we do not have that conventional deterrence and the ability to deter through conventional forces, then what we will find ourselves in is a place that none of us wish to be in and having to turn to the greatest deterrence of them all”
The Mail Online reports: In chilling comments aimed at Chancellor Philip Hammond, Mr Williamson said funding for defence was about ‘making sure things do not happen’.
He said if the UK did not have an effective army, air force and navy the country might have to ‘turn to the greatest deterrence of them all’.
The Royal United Services Institute Sea Power Conference in London, Mr Williamson said: ‘You do not want to be in a position where your only deterrence against threat and against aggressors is a nuclear deterrence.
‘We have got to talk about deterrence being full-spectrum, right across the board.
‘It is sometimes difficult to explain to people that actually investing in our armed forces is all about making sure that things do not happen.
‘It is about aircraft carriers, it is about a presence in the Pacific, it is a presence in the North Atlantic, it is a presence in the Mediterranean and in the Gulf with conventional frigates and destroyers that are able to say that Britain is interested, Britain cares, Britain will protect our interests and our values.
‘If we do not have that conventional deterrence and the ability to deter through conventional forces, then what we will find ourselves in is a place that none of us wish to be in and having to turn to the greatest deterrence of them all.”
Mr Williamson said last year the Royal Navy had to respond on 33 occasions to Russian vessels approaching UK waters as an example of the continuing threat.
‘It goes to show the increasing aggression, the increasing assertiveness of Russia and how we have to give the right support to our Royal Navy in order to give them the tools to do the job and keep Britain safe,’ he said.