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Theresa May would fire UK’s nuclear weapons as a ‘first strike’, says Defence Secretary Michael Fallon via Independent

‘We have made it very clear that you can’t rule out the use of nuclear weapons as a first strike’

Theresa May would fire Britain’s nuclear weapons as a ‘first strike’ if necessary, the Defence Secretary has said.

Michael Fallon said the Prime Minister was prepared to launch Trident in “the most extreme circumstances”, even if Britain itself was not under nuclear attack.

The statement came as the Conservatives continued to exploit Labour divisions on the retention of the Trident deterrent, to warn of the “very dangerous chaos” if Jeremy Corbyn becomes prime minister.

Yesterday, the Labour leader suggested Trident renewal might not be in Labour’s election manifesto – only to be corrected within hours by party colleagues.

[…]

Mr Corbyn sparked fresh Labour despair when, asked if Trident renewal would be in Labour’s manifesto, he replied: “We haven’t completed work on the manifesto yet.”

Last year, the Labour leader had appeared to abandon attempts to persuade his party to back unilateral disarmament, after a conference vote in favour of Trident.

Mr Corbyn also refused to say whether he would order the captains of the UK’s nuclear submarines to launch their missiles if the Government had been wiped out by a nuclear strike.

Today, Labour’s general election chief, Andrew Gwynne, insisted renewing Trident will not be part of Labour’s defence review if it wins the general election.

“We are committed to renewing the Trident system,” said Mr Gwynne – rejecting Mr Corbyn’s statement that “all aspects” of defence policy were up for grabs.

[…]

But Mr Fallon said, of Mr Corbyn: “He’s against the nuclear deterrent, would stop building the submarines which we have already started building, he wouldn’t control our borders – and, earlier, he has even questioned our Nato deployment.”

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