This paper outlines the United Kingdom’s (UK) position on the ownership and responsibility for special fissile material and related safeguards equipment. The Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) provides the basis for the UK’s cooperation with the Euratom Community on civil nuclear issues. It includes the provision of safeguards arrangements for non-proliferation of nuclear materials, cooperation in nuclear research and development, mobility of workers and trade in the nuclear sector and wider nuclear regulatory cooperation. 2. The UK invoked Article 106(a) of the Treaty establishing Euratom at the same time as Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU). As the European Commission has stated in its recommendation for a European Council decision authorising the Commission to open negotiations with the UK on an agreement on its withdrawal from the European Union (EU): “It is recalled that in accordance with Article 106(a) of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community, Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union applies also to the European Atomic Energy Community”. This reflects the fact that the Treaties of the EU and Euratom are uniquely legally joined.
HM Gov 13th June 2017 read more »
Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive of the UK’s Nuclear Industry Association, said: “While containing very little detail, the UK Government’s position paper demonstrates the complexity of replicating Euratom arrangements in UK regulation and co-operation agreements with third countries which the industry has warned of. Government must therefore make the need for transitional arrangements its starting point in negotiations. Failure to do so will risk precisely the disruption the government state they want to avoid.
NIA 13th July 2017 read more »
The UK government’s Department for Exiting the European Union has today published a position paper on nuclear materials and safeguards issues, which the head of the country’s Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) says “demonstrates the complexity” of replicating arrangements with the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom).
World Nuclear News 13th July 2017 read more »
Regarding “Plan to Withdraw From European Nuclear Treaty Stirs Alarm in Britain” (July 13;https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/12/world/europe/euratom-brexit.html), this report overlooks the most important element of the British Government plan to quit the Euratom treaty that governs nuclear activities – including nuclear explosive materials – in European Union countries, possibly because the reporter relied solely on nuclear industry sources, for whom this is a highly inconvenient truth. On July 13 the U.K. Government published its so-called position paper on “Nuclear materials and safeguards issues,” which includes the key suggestion the U.K. will: “take responsibility for meeting the UK’s safeguards obligations, as agree with I.A.E.A (International Atomic Energy Agency).” The U.K. government has earlier explained they intend U.K. nuclear security regulator, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (O.N.R.) to take over from the independent safeguards inspectors from Euratom, to ‘self-police’ the British nuclear industry against military misuse. Just imagine if Iran or North Korea proposed to do that! It should also be noted that even under the Euratom safeguards regime the U.K has withdrawn fissile nuclear materials, including plutonium, from safeguards on at least 650 occasions since the U.K’s trilateral safeguards treaty with Euratom and I.A.E.A came into force in 1978
David Lowry’s Blog 13th July 2017 read more »
The government has resisted pressure to backtrack on its plans to withdraw from Euratom by confirming that it plans to press ahead with exit from the pan-European nuclear body. The Department for Exiting the European Union (Dexeu) published its position paper today (13 July) setting out the UK’s priorities in the upcoming negotiations with the Euratom Community, which is currently responsible for nuclear safeguarding arrangements. The negotiations are due to start on Monday, energy minister Richard Harrington revealed yesterday in a Parliamentary debate on Euratom.
Utility Week 13th July 2017 read more »
The Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) has published position papers on the UK’s stance in the Brexit negotiations on the European atomic energy community (Euratom) and the role of the European court of justice (ECJ). The government has resisted calls from Conservative MPs for a rethink on leaving Euratom, arguing that Brussels insists the UK cannot withdraw from the EU and stay in the nuclear energy treaty. DExEU said Britain would quit the treaty but seek to work with Euratom’s member countries to ensure a “smooth transition” to a new regime of nuclear cooperation and safeguards.
Guardian 13th July 2017 read more »
Britain fleshed out its Brexit negotiating stance on nuclear, justice and other matters on Thursday before the first full round of talks with the EU next week, underlining it would quit nuclear body Euratom and the jurisdiction of European courts.
New York Times 13th July 2017 read more »
The UK could have an “association agreement” with the EU to replace its membership of Europe’s nuclear agency, Brexit Secretary David Davis has suggested.
BBC 13th July 2017 read more »
Not many people would have heard of the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) until recently and even fewer will have had it in the front of their minds when voting on the UK’s membership of the EU. And yet the current furore over nuclear cooperation has the potential to cause a chain reaction that derails Brexit, or at least fundamentally alters its shape.
Institute of Economic Affairs 13th July 2017 read more »
The row over UK nuclear safety after Brexit stepped up a notch this morning as new minister Steve Baker insisted Britain must quit Euratom when it leaves the EU. The Brexit Minister rejected claims made by Tory ex-leader William Hague and the Royal College of Radiologists that quitting the oversight body could harm research. But the RCR stepped up its calls this morning for assurances that the supply of key diagnostic and cancer-treating materials would not be affected by leaving Euratom. European Commission guidance has previously suggested that the UK would have to quit Euratom as a result of Brexit, although it remains an issue of intense legal wrangling. Asked on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning why the UK cannot leave the EU but maintain membership of Euratom, Mr Baker said: “It’s not as simple as that and it’s not a government choice.” He pointed to a tweet by Martin Selmayr – the right hand man of European Commission president Jean Claude Juncker – which brands Euratom a “separation issue”. Mr Baker said: “It is actually necessary to leave Euratom when you leave the European Union for the pragmatic legal reason that the institutions are inseparable from the European Commission, the Council and the Court of Justice of the European Union. “That’s why we asked members of parliament to vote to leave Euratom at the same time as notifying withdrawing from the European Union.”
Politics Home 14th July 2017 read more »
Davis tries to defuse row over leaving Europe nuclear agency after fears that Brexit could damage cancer treatment
Daily Mail 14th July 2017 read more »
Industry experts and some Tory MPs have urged the government not to give up the UK’s membership of Europe’s nuclear agency, Euratom, after Brexit. Speaking on the BBC’s Brexitcast podcast, the chairman of the UK Atomic Energy Authority, Roger Cashmore, says he hopes an “associate” membership can be arranged. However, he predicts this will cost as much if not more than the UK is currently paying as an EU member.
BBC 13th July 2017 read more »