|The Independent Global Nuclear News Agency|
Policies & Politics
11 Oct (NucNet): The UK remains on track to have all the international agreements that it requires to ensure uninterrupted cooperation and trade in the civil nuclear sector ready for Brexit at the end of March 2019, Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said in a written statement today.
Mr Clark said in his latest quarterly report on energy policy that the government remains committed to putting in place measures needed to ensure that the UK can operate as an independent and responsible nuclear state upon the UK’s withdrawal from Euratom.
Significant progress includes the signing of a new bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement (NCA) with Australia in August. This is the second NCA to be signed with a priority third country in preparation for the UK’s withdrawal from Euratom, following the new bilateral agreement with the US signed in May.
The government has also completed its consultation on draft nuclear safeguards regulations, which set out the detail of a new domestic civil nuclear safeguards regime. “We are analysing responses to the consultation and will publish a formal response to the consultation in the autumn,” Mr Clark said.
He said the UK is seeking “a close association with Euratom” through the negotiation of a an NCA that is more comprehensive and broader than any existing agreement between Euratom and a third country.
Mr Clark said: “Simultaneously, we are ensuring that the necessary legislation is ready, and the civil nuclear industry is prepared for all potential scenarios, including the unlikely event that the UK leaves the EU and Euratom at the end of March 2019 without an agreement.”
Euratom is the EU’s nuclear safety and research watchdog, but when the UK leaves the EU it will also be leaving Euratom.
Related reports in the NucNet database (available to subscribers): UK Will Remain Committed To Euratom Research Programme After Brexit, Says Gov’t (News in Brief No.158, 10 August 2018)
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