Defence Committee questions the purpose of deterrence

Statement by Steve Hucklesby, Secretary for InternationalAffairs for The Methodist Church:

'We are pleased to see the Defence Committee's findings reflectmany of the points raised by the Methodist Church in itssubmission.

'The report notes that the past concept of deterrence is no longerrelevant in the current international context. There are clearlyquestions as to whether nuclear weapons will offer the best optionfor our security in 20 years time. We share the disappointment ofthe Defence Committee that the Ministry of Defence has declined tomeet with it.

'It is our view that our future security will ultimately depend ona strong non-proliferation regime. We need to limit the number ofnew countries developing weapons. We also need to limit theincrease in fissile material around the globe as there is a dangerthat it could fall into the wrong hands and be used to make 'dirtybombs'. An investment in a replacement in Trident cannot help ushere.

'The world is changing fast. This report demonstrates that there isno reason for a future prime minister to feel bound by a concept ofdeterrence that was born out of the Cold War era.'