Nuclear Politics

UK Could Leave EU Without Withdrawing From Euratom, Says Brussels Law Firm

By David Dalton
20 July 2016

UK Could Leave EU Without Withdrawing From Euratom, Says Brussels Law Firm

20 Jul (NucNet): The Euratom Community has a separate legal personality from the European Union and is governed by a separate treaty and separate exit mechanism, making it possible that the UK could leave the EU without simultaneously withdrawing from Euratom, an article published in The National Law Review says. The article, written by two partners at the Brussels office of law firm McDermott Will & Emery, says in the case of the UK, such a clean split might not be achievable, primarily because the EU treaties and the Euratom Treaty are incorporated into UK law through the European Communities Act (ECA). “If the UK repealed the ECA in order to fully withdraw from the European Union, the Euratom Treaty would consequently become unenforceable in the United Kingdom,” the article says. “Even if the ECA is only partially repealed, UK membership in the Euratom Community might simply be unworkable.” The article concludes that as such, one of the unintended effects of Brexit is that, in practice, the “no” vote could make it impossible for the UK to retain its membership in the Euratom Community. The Euratom Treaty covers all civil nuclear activities in the EU. As a nuclear peace treaty, it pools the nuclear industries of its member states and ensures the security of atomic energy supply in Europe. The general objective of the Treaty is to contribute to the formation and development of Europe’s nuclear industries and to prevent nuclear materials intended for civilian use from being diverted to military use. The National Law Review article is online:

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