GMB warns UK nuclear energy at risk if Britain quits Euratom treaty

The Government must think again over its ‘foolhardy rush’ to leave Euratom, says GMB – the union for nuclear workers.

And as the Brexit bill to leave the EU bloc passes through the House of Lords, peers are set to table an amendment asking for the decision to leave Euratom to be treated as a separate process to Brexit.

The European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) is the European nuclear research agency which has controlled the peaceful use of nuclear energy across Europe since 1957.It is legally distinct from the EU but has the same membership.

Last month, British Brexit Secretary David Davis confirmed to Parliament the UK’s intention to pull out of Euratom, threatening the UK’s entire nuclear industry – including severely delaying the new £18 billion Hinkley Point C power plant.

Stuart Fegan, GMB National Officer, said: “The rush to leave Euratom is not only unnecessary but uncalled for – no one voted for Brexit because they wanted to leave an organisation which has controlled the peaceful use of nuclear energy across Europe since 1957.

“Before we leave, the nuclear industry needs concrete assurances that this will not delay plans to build new power stations, slow research and development or threaten UK nuclear workers’ safety.”

Meanwhile, members of the House of Lords’ Science and Technology Committee are set to quiz British energy minister Jesse Norman, MP, on the effect that leaving Euratom will have on the UK’s participation in long-term nuclear research and development projects.

The Lords will also ask what steps the Government needs to take to ensure the UK has a coherent and consistent long term policy for civil nuclear activities.

The evidence session will take place on Tuesday 28 February in the House of Lords at 10:40 am. You can watch the session at www.parliamentlive.tv

 

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