Critics of the government’s moves to quit Euratom have organised an emergency debate on the issue in the House of Commons as Theresa May faces a dual backbench rebellion on energy issues. Backbench MP Albert Owen, who was a member of the BEIS (business, energy and industrial strategy) select committee during the last Parliament, has secured a debate in Parliament’s Westminster Hall on negotiations on the UK’s future Euratom membership. Owen, who represents the Ynys Mon constituency in north Wales that is also the location of the planned Wylfa B nuclear plant, is one of four Labour backbenchers who are vying to take the chairmanship of the BEIS committee. His rival for the chairmanship, Rachel Reeves wrote a joint column with Tory former culture minister Ed Vaizey in yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph urging a rethink of the Euratom exit. The Evening Standard newspaper has reported that nine Conservative backbench MPs have signalled opposition to withdrawing Euratom, which would be enough votes to potentially scupper the move in Parliament even if the government maintains the support of its allies in the Democratic Unionist Party.
Utility Week 10th July 2017 read more »
The government is drawing up plans to replicate the benefits of remaining a member of the Euratom treaty, which governs the movement of nuclear materials across Europe, in the face of a growing rebellion of Conservative MPs. The Guardian understands that one option being considered is an “associate membership”, similar to that held by Switzerland, or paying money to an international agency to set up an independent arrangement. Nine Tory MPs signalled that they could line up with Labour and the Liberal Democrats on the issue, making it difficult for May to secure a parliamentary majority. Ed Vaizey, a former Tory minister, joined forces with Labour MP Rachel Reeves over the weekend to warn that the treaty was vital to protect the nuclear power industry in the UK.
Guardian 10th July 2017 read more »
Labour’s Keir Starmer has urged the government to keep Britain in the Euratom treaty that governs the movement of nuclear materials – and drop its red line on the future role of the European court of justice or risk defeat in the House of Commons. The shadow Brexit secretary vowed to work with MPs across the political spectrum, including a growing number of Conservative rebels, to protect the UK’s place in the European atomic energy community. “It’s increasingly clear that the government acted recklessly by giving up on membership of Euratom. As with so many aspects of the prime minister’s Brexit strategy, she has let ideological obsessions – in this case preventing any future role for the European court of justice – take priority over safeguarding jobs and the economy,” said Starmer, who said there were 78,000 UK jobs in the nuclear industry.
Guardian 11th July 2017 read more »
Of all the many European collaborations threatened by Brexit, the UK’s participation in the European atomic energy community, Euratom, might seem an odd subject for Tory rebels to pick for their first fight. But the government’s policy on leaving this nuclear safety and research watchdog provides an unusually clear-cut example of the economic pain of taking back control – and one for which there is unusually limited political justification. “Initially created to coordinate the member states’ research programmes for the peaceful use of nuclear energy,” explains the official legal summary, “the Euratom treaty today helps to pool knowledge, infrastructure and funding of nuclear energy. It ensures the security of atomic energy supply within the framework of a centralised monitoring system.”
Guardian 10th July 2017 read more »
Tory rebellion goes nuclear: nine MPs oppose plan to quit body that would ‘threaten supply of key cancer treatment material’. Theresa May today faced a Tory rebellion and a stark warning that “thousands” of cancer patients face delays to their treatment as a direct result of Britain’s decision to quit the European nuclear body Euratom. The agency, which governs the movement of radioactive material around Europe, is not formally part of the EU but is under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice — leading to the Government’s decision to pull out as part of the Brexit process. Dr Nicola Strickland, president of the Royal College of Radiologists, told the Standard she was “seriously concerned” that “Brexatom” threatens the supply of vital imported radioactive isotopes, widely used in scans and treatment.
London Evening Standard 10th July 2017 read more »
Growing support for staying in Euratom prompts speculation the government’s Commons majority could already be under threat. Speculation is mounting that the government may not be able to follow through with its promise to pull the UK out of Euratom, the European nuclear regulations agency.
Business Green 10th July 2017 read more »
Vote Leave campaign chief Dominic Cummings lambasts “govt morons” over plans to leave European nuclear agency Euratom. In a series of explosive tweets published Monday morning, Cummings said those in favour of the move were “morons”, adding the party “keeps making huge misjudgments re what [Brexit] ref was about.” “Boris, Gove, Clarke, anybody sentient, tell May/DD today this is unacceptable bullshit & must be ditched or she will be.”
City AM 10th July 2017 read more »
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Express 10th July 2017 read more »
Government officials who favour leaving the nuclear body Euratom are “morons”, according to the former campaign director of Vote Leave, who also criticised the “truck loads of crap ideas” from Theresa May’s first nine months in office.
Independent 10th July 2017 read more »
Theresa May facing Tory rebellion over UK’s ‘moronic’ departure from nuclear regulator Euratom.
Telegraph 10th July 2017 read more »
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