12.07.2017_No137 / News in Brief

UK Reports On Euratom ‘Very Concerning’, Says Nuclear Industry Body

Policies & Politics

12 Jul (NucNet): Reports in the UK media that there was no impact assessment undertaken by the government before deciding to trigger leaving Euratom are “very concerning”, Tom Greatrex, chief executive of the UK Nuclear Industry Association, said. Mr Greatrex said that while the industry has provided the government with detailed information to help it understand the role of Euratom, it has also repeatedly been made clear to the government that the industry’s preferred position is to retain membership of Euratom. He said: “It is important now that the government ensures there is regular and constant dialogue with the industry, so they can understand the full consequences of decisions they will take over the period ahead.” The Guardian newspaper reported on 12 July 2017 that a ruling Conservative Party revolt over prime minster Theresa May’s plan to withdraw from the Euratom nuclear treaty has grown, with the possibility that Mrs May has no majority for the move. The government insists that leaving Euratom is an inevitable consequence of triggering article 50 and proceeding to Brexit – a position shared by the European negotiators. However, around a dozen Conservative MPs are pushing for the government to fight harder for the UK to stay in Euratom, which oversees the movement of nuclear materials across Europe. Trudy Harrison, a Conservative MP representing Copeland, the constituency of the Sellafield nuclear site, said leaving the Euratom treaty without quickly replicating its benefits could risk jobs and safety. The opposition Labour Party said Britain should remain in Euratom, adding it is increasingly clear that the government acted “recklessly” by giving up on membership of Euratom.

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David Dalton

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