The UK’s Article 50 letter which triggered its exit from the European Union also indicated that the country would be leaving the European nuclear regulator Euratom following Brexit. However, several MPs, including some prominent leave campaigners, have criticised this position, arguing instead for the UK to have some form of associate membership of Euratom after it leaves the EU. David Phinnemore highlights that there is currently no such thing as ‘associate membership’ of Euratom, but that other routes for an association between the UK and Euratom could potentially be pursued. To describe Switzerland’s status vis-à-vis Euratom as ‘associate membership’ is misleading. The Swiss do participate with ‘associated country status’ in a number of Euratom-focused research programmes under the Horizon 2020 programme. Switzerland also has a formal ‘Cooperation Agreement’ with Euratom dating back to 1978. Its focus is controlled thermonuclear fusion and plasma physics. These and other cooperative arrangements between Switzerland and Euratom do not amount, however, to ‘associate membership’. Nor do they mean that Switzerland is an ‘associate’ of either Euratom or the EU.
LSE 18th July 2017 read more »
Brexit doesn’t inevitably mean leaving the international body governing civil nuclear power in Europe, but there is very little time for the government to rethink its decision, the head of the U.K.’s nuclear industry group warned. The comments by Tom Greatrex, chief executive of the U.K.’s Nuclear Industry Association, add to growing concern over the government’s intention to pull out of the European Atomic Energy Community, or Euratom, at the same time as leaving the EU. The fear is that leaving the organization at the end of the two-year Brexit process in March 2019 does not leave enough time for the U.K. to replicate vital functions.
Politico 17th July 2017 read more »