Britain has put the EU on notice that it has the right to return radioactive waste to the bloc after it leaves, in an attempt to increase the UK’s negotiating clout on the vexed issue of nuclear regulation. UK officials hope raising complex questions over what should happen to Britain’s stockpile of radioactive materials — some of which originate from EU countries including Germany, Italy and Sweden — will convince Brussels to take a co-operative approach to the nuclear issue. “It might just be a reminder that a boatload of plutonium could end up at a harbour in Antwerp unless an arrangement is made,” said one nuclear expert who has advised the government. Leaders of the UK nuclear industry are lobbying the government to find a way of remaining part of Euratom or, if that proves impossible, to negotiate an extended transition deal to allow time to establish a new regulatory system. However, either of those options would require continued jurisdiction by the European Court of Justice — something Theresa May, UK prime minister, has so far resisted. Those arguing for Mrs May to compromise have highlighted the threat of disruption to UK supplies of nuclear fuel, reactor parts and medical isotopes used in cancer treatments if Britain fails to reach a deal with Brussels.
FT 19th July 2017 read more »
Brexit department warns EU counterparts it will ‘return waste to its country of origin’ if an agreement on nuclear cooperation cannot be reached. Britain has warned the EU that it could return boatloads of radioactive waste back to the continent if the Brexit talks fail to deliver an agreement on nuclear regulation. In what is being taken in Brussels as a thinly veiled threat, a paper setting out the UK position for the negotiations stresses the right “to return radioactive waste … to its country of origin” should negotiations collapse. The UK paper, detailing the British government’s hopes for future cooperation once it leaves the Euratom treaty, at the same time as leaving the EU, further stresses the “strong mutual interest in ensuring close cooperation in the future” Britain currently has a 126-tonne stockpile of radioactive materials originating from EU countries such as Germany, Italy and Sweden.
Guardian 19th July 2017 read more »
The Sun 19th July 2017 read more »
Express 20th July 2017 read more »
Flights could be grounded, nuclear plants shut down and Britons plunged into legal limbo if the UK crashes out of the EU without a Brexit deal, experts warn today. The impact of Theresa May failing to strike a pact will be ‘widespread, damaging and pervasive’, according to a doomsday report by the think tank UK in a Changing Europe.
Daily Record 20th July 2017 read more »
Mirror 20th July 2017 read more »