Top UK group backs nuclear disarmament


Senior politicians and former generals call for a wider nuclear debate

Senior UK politicians and former generals have set up a group to push for multilateral nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, the group's convener announced in Washington today.

The cross-party group is made up of almost all of the former senior ministers of foreign affairs and defence over the last two decades and includes three former defence chiefs who served during that time.

Des Browne, the former British defence secretary, said that the 16 members agreed that in order to build on the momentum towards multilateral nuclear disarmament, "We want politicians to get involved to take the debate to the strategic level by placing it in the public domain."

The Top Level Group members have significant reach into the US political system, and intend to engage with Washington to discuss incremental moves towards their shared goal of a nuclear free world. "We offer our experience to Senators and others to debate with them and share their advice," Mr Browne said.

Mr Browne is currently visiting Washington with a cross-party parliamentary delegation which is holding talks with senior Obama administration officials and key Senators on nuclear issues.

He was speaking at an event jointly organised by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the British American Security Information Council (BASIC), which is coordinating the MPs' visit.