07.12.2018_No243 / News in Brief

Brexit: Committee Chair Calls For Clarity On Euratom And Warns Of ‘Serious Concerns’

Policies & Politics

7 Dec (NucNet): The chair of a UK parliamentary committee has written to the minister for business and industry to call for clarity on a series of issues relating to the UK’s relationship with the EU and Euratom and the government’s plans for civil nuclear in the event of a “no deal” Brexit.

In a letter to Richard Harrington, business, energy and industrial strategy committee chair Rachel Reeves said there are some encouraging indications of progress on civil nuclear issues such as nuclear safeguards and trading arrangements. Nevertheless, serious concerns persist, particularly in the event of a no deal scenario.

“In the event of no deal and no transition period, the ongoing operation of the UK’s nuclear power stations could be put at risk,” she wrote. “The government needs to spell out what it is doing to ensure that nuclear power stations continue to function from 29 March 2019 and whether it will seek a separate deal with Euratom in these circumstances.

“The government also needs to be clearer about its plans to facilitate the building of construction of major facilities such as Hinkley Point C if restrictions on migrant labour are introduced in the future.”Ms Reeves noted that the UK plays an important role in nuclear research and urged the government sets out its plans to make up for reduced access to EU R&D funding for future innovation projects beyond 2020.

The government has said 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.

Euratom is the EU’s nuclear safety and research watchdog, but when the UK leaves the EU it will also be leaving Euratom.

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David Dalton

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