The UK’s withdrawal from the EU could also force it to exit the Euratom Treaty on nuclear energy, ENDS has learned. The Euratom Treaty, which applies to all EU member states, seeks to promote nuclear safety standards, investment and research within the bloc. Although it is governed by EU institutions, it has retained a separate legal identity since its adoption in 1957. Brian Curtis, a member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), told ENDS that his Committee had recently consulted the European Commission on whether Brexit would automatically lead to a UK exit of Euratom. Curtis said the Commission had responded affirmatively, arguing that the Treaty of the European Union (TEU) applies to the Euratom Treaty under article 106 of the latter agreement. This would mean, it said, that the reference to ‘Union’ inTEU’s article 50 – which needs to be invoked by member states wishing to quit the bloc – would apply not only to the EU itself but to Euratom membership as well. According to EESC, a Euratom withdrawal by the UK – which recently approved the controversial £18bn Hinkley C project – could have major strategic implications for the EU nuclear sector. “But anticipating specific outcomes at this stage is problematic,” the Committee added.
Guardian 27th Sept 2016 read more »