To President Trump
The quality of Britain’s relationship with the United States has been demonstrated again in recent weeks by impressive US solidarity with the UK over Russia’s poison attack in Salisbury and by UK military action alongside the United Sates in Syria.
Yet we are concerned that today you will drive a wedge into that partnership by failing to uphold US commitments under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (the JCPOA). The British people would find this hard to understand since they overwhelmingly share your concerns that Iran should continue to comply, should never develop nuclear weapons or long range missiles, and must cease its regional destabilization. These concerns are being well met in the JCPOA and in the emerging US-Europe supplemental agreement that you called for in January.
We are concerned as members of the cross-party Top Level Group of UK Parliamentarians for Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament and Non-proliferation that if you now sideline this agreement you will push London, Paris, Berlin and Brussels into the arms of Moscow and Beijing in seeking to continue the deal with Tehran. Your European Allies would find it hard to support you against criticism in the UN Security Council. We do not want the US to be isolated internationally. We question whether this would leave you as strong as we would wish in your forthcoming negotiations with Kim Jong Un.
And we are concerned that you may misjudge the strength of Europe’s attachment to this deal and the emotional reaction if you were to go further and re-impose secondary sanctions on British and other European business. Over 500 British, French and German parliamentarians have just sent an open letter to the US Congress. Europeans see Americans as swayed too much by myths about this deal, which is more important to Europe’s security than America’s and which, if Washington plays its part, can block a nuclear Iran and a nuclearizing Middle East for the long term. We urge you to focus on these facts and not let the best deal be the enemy of a good one.
- Dame Margaret Beckett MP, Former Foreign Secretary;
- Richard Benyon MP, Member of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament;
- Lord Browne, Convener of the TLG, Vice Chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, and former UK Defence Secretary;
- Admiral the Lord Boyce, Former Chief of the Defence Staff;
- Lord Hannay, Former Ambassador of the UK to the EEC, Former Ambassador of the UK to the UN;
- Lord Ramsbotham, Retired General Army, Former Adjutant General, Former ADC General to HM the Queen