A second major steel mill is under threat, leaving the UK with a disturbing lack of independent capacity to make steel. One much-repeated argument for our current defence procurement is that the UK needs in the long term to maintain systems that will be able to defend it against unforeseen eventualities in an unpredictable world. It is at least possible that we might need to be able to build boats, planes and other arms, rather than sourcing them wholly from our allies. The possibility may be distant, but given our previous experience of war, it is a lot less fanciful than some of the other scenarios we are arming against. Can a Conservative government really justify leaving Britain without defences?