Articles & Publications

In April 2016, The Rt Hon Dame Margaret Beckett signed a letter to the Guardian: ‘The choice is not exit or surrender but how we transform Europe’.

In 2015, TLG members wrote for the following publications:

Lord David Hannay wrote for British Influence on ‘Clearing up some misconceptions about the EU and migration’, 9 October 2015.

Lord George Robertson wrote for Politics Home ‘When sabres are ratting across the globe, scrapping Trident would be spectacular folly’, 15 September 2015.

Lord David Hannay wrote for British Influence on ‘Britain’s EU referendum: the pre-referendum campaign, so far’, 7 September 2015.

Sir Nick Harvey published an article on Lib Dem voice on “Trident: The real gamble with the nation’s security is making a currently purpose-less weapon a financial priority”, April 2015.

Over the course of 2014, TLG members published articles in a range of outlets on nuclear issues including pieces by Lord Hannay on prospects for the 2014 NPT Preparatory Conference; an op-ed by Malcolm Rifkind and Des Browne and two former French Defence ministers on the security of 85% of the world’s nuclear material stockpiles; and news articles such as “We can’t afford to replace Trident – and why would we want to?” in the Guardian, by Nick Harvey.

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)

James Kearney, Hans Blix, Lord Browne and Sir Jeremy Greenstock on Ending Nuclear Testing: Waiting for the US Senate to Take the Lead, Huffington Post, 18 July 2013

Media Coverage on Trident Alternatives review

Shirley Williams, Trident review is a remarkable accomplishment for the Liberal Democrats, 17 July 2013

Nick Harvey and Philip Hammond on the Radio 4 Today Programme, 16 July 2013

Lord Boyce, Interview on Continuously at sea on deterrence, Channel 4 News, 16 July 2013

The Telegraph: Britain open to attack if Trident is abandoned – the letter in full, 15 Jul 2013

Media Coverage on Trident renewal

There is no magic alternative to Trident – Britain has got to keep it by John Hutton and George Robertson, 28 February 2013

Discarding Trident would not aid global nuclear disarmament; it would only imperil UK security by Lord West, The Independent, 26 February 2013

Trident is no longer key to Britain’s security by Des Browne and Ian Kearns, The Telegraph, 5 February 2013

Media Coverage in FT, Scotsman and the BBC following House of Lords Debate 

Members of the House of Lords debated on 24 January 2013 the prospects for multilateral nuclear disarmament, and the contribution which Britain could make.

Following a Lords debate on nuclear disarmament, the Financial Times, the Scotsman and the BBC covered contributions, made by TLG members Lord King and Lord Browne.

Lord King’s, a former Conservative defence secretary, said during the debate that a nuclear deterrent no longer guaranteed the UK a place at the “top table” of nations. [BBC].

The Financial Times and the Scotsman featured Lord Browne’s argument. The former Labour defence secretary called for the UK to stop deploying nuclear submarines around the clock and step down from the current continuous at sea deterrence. [Scotsman]

Lord Browne quoted on Scottish Trident debate

The article ‘International policy will be a major influence on any Trident decision’ by Eddie Barnes, which was published in the Scotsman on Wednesday 16 January 2013, quotes Lord Browne calling for “leadership from the Americans. We have the president that could do that.”

He also argues that as a result of the cash squeeze, whoever find themselves in government after the 2015 general election will have no option but to order another full defence review – with Trident included. “Any incoming government is going to be faced with a series of challenges that would compel them to review the position – even an incoming Conservative government will be compelled to review it”.

Read the full article here.

Lord Browne reflects on the NATO Chicago Summit

Des Browne and Ian Kearns discuss in the ELN Policy Brief ‘NATO, Russia, and the Nuclear Disarmament Agenda: Reflections Post Chicago’ the strategic and defence realities that accompanied NATO’s Deterrence and Defence Posture Review.

More information and a link to download the article are available here.

The Telegraph: Navy ‘running out of sailors to man submarines’

Adml Lord West, the former First Sea Lord, about the Risk Register of the Defence Nuclear Executive Board:

Adml Lord West, the former First Sea Lord, said the situation was “very worrying” and he hoped the Navy had mechanisms in place to make up for the shortfall.

“There’s no doubt that recruiting and keeping highly qualified nuclear engineers has been tough. Nuclear engineers have also become highly sought-after by the civil industry as this country has not trained enough.” A redacted copy of the Risk Register was provided to the Nuclear Information Service. Peter Burt, the director of NIS, which promotes nuclear safety awareness, said: “These risks highlight major pitfalls ahead and that Trident replacement is far from a forgone conclusion. How effective we are at mastering these risks will determine whether Britain can remain in the nuclear weapons business.”

Read the full article here.
You find a comprehensive report on the Risk Register here.

Lord Browne of Ladyton on the NATO Deterrence and Defence Posture Review

In the context of a parliamentary debate in the House of Lords on 30th May 2012, Lord Browne of Ladyton published two articles on the NATO Deterrence and Defence Posture Review.

TLG member Sir Menzies Campbell MP wrote in the Financial Times on 15th May 2012 that it is time to abandon the ‘Moscow criterion’.

Read his arguments here.

Sir David Omand, Sir Kevin Tebbit and Mr Franklin Miller responded to Sir Menzies Campbell’s article: ‘UK cannot afford to be complacent‘, Financial Times, 22 May 2012.

Lord (Des) Browne of Ladyton and Dr. Ian Kearns last week published an article entitled “Europe Needs to Shoulder More Responsibility for Addressing Nuclear Dangers” in “Strategic Europe”, a Carnegie Europe Series publication.

The article argues that:
“In the midst of a financial crisis of existential proportions for the euro, nuclear issues have been pushed to the margins of the European political debate. This is understandable, but it cannot be allowed to continue. The world faces potential new nuclear arms races and Europe systematically underestimates both the scale of the problem and the scale of its ability and responsibility to act…..Europe can and must play a central role in addressing the nuclear dangers.”

You can read the full article here .

Des Browne has published an article on the Top Level Group of UK Parliamentarians for Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament and Non-proliferation in the Spring 2011 issue of the NEW WORLD, the newsletter of the UNA-UK.

The article highlights the importance of the Top Level Group and its valuable contribution to the UK debate.

You can read the full article on page 24 here .

Following a lecture on the importance of political leadership in achieving a nuclear weapon free world at the David Davies Memorial Institute Annual Lecture, Aberystwyth University on Wednesday 28 April 2010, Des Browne has published an article in the magazine International Relations (December 2010 issue)


The article, written by Des Browne, Shatabhisha Shetty and Andrew Somerville, outlines the key features of political leadership, explains its importance, examines historical instances of leadership and highlights instances of successful political leadership. In this multi-polar world, it is only through multilateral action that we can achieve a world free of nuclear weapons, and this requires proactive multilateral political leadership.

The full article is available as a PDF download here.

Members of the Top Level Group published a letter in the New York Times on 29 November 2010 calling for the US Senate to ratify the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).

The Top Level Group members wrote in their letter that “Europe owes much to American leadership, and it is in the nature of the New Start treaty that we must look to American leadership again. But through NATO and at Lisbon, Europe delivered its own view to the United States: If the Senate ratifies New Start, it does so not only with strong United Kingdom support, but also with the support of the entire alliance”.

Further details and a link to the original article can be found here.

TLG member Sir Menzies Campbell MP wrote to the Financial Times on 16 September 2010 stating the need to extend the Trident programme, and calling for a reasoned rational debate in a time of fiscal uncertainty.

Read his arguments here.

On Sunday 4 April 2010, The Guardian published an article by Martin Rees and Des Browne MP entitled, ‘Science’s Nuclear Responsibility.’

The piece addresses the important role scientists have to play in reducing and finally eliminating nuclear weapons. Read the article here.

In October 2009, Lord David Owen published the book Nuclear Papers.

David Owen, Nuclear Papers

David Owen, Nuclear Papers

The book is an explosive mixture of Owen’s recently declassified papers relating to the UK’s last review of nuclear weapons policy and a forceful polemic on the past, present and future of government nuclear policy.

It is a fascinating insight into the culture of secrecy in the upper echelons of government. Owen’s papers show how ministers, including the Chancellor, were deliberately cut out of discussions.

The book has been published in advance of the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

A longer extract of Lord Owen’s book Nuclear Papers is available as a PDF download here .

Lord Douglas Hurd, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Lord David Owen and Lord George Robertson published an article entitles ‘Start worrying and learn to ditch the bomb’ in The Times on 30 June 2008.

It the articles they outline that the way to a world free of nuclear weapons is possible, but will not be easy. Click here to read the article.