Majority of Brits ‘want to stay part of Euratom’

Only 10% of the UK public support the government’s decision to leave the treaty that regulates the nuclear industry across Europe. A new poll reveals around 56% of the 2,016 […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Only 10% of the UK public support the government’s decision to leave the treaty that regulates the nuclear industry across Europe.

A new poll reveals around 56% of the 2,016 respondents want to remain part of Euratom after the UK leaves the EU, while 34% are unsure.

A majority (75%) believe safeguarding checks are important and 72% add allowing free movement of nuclear workers, skills and products is crucial.

The poll also found two in five of those who voted to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum want to stay part of Euratom – the figure increases to 76% with those who voted to remain.

According to the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA), industry is concerned that without continued membership, an agreement on associated status or transitional arrangements in place, there will be “significant disruption” to building, operating and decommissioning nuclear power stations.

Chief Executive Tom Greatrex said: “Leaving Euratom means replicating its administrative, practical and technical safeguarding obligations, negotiating nuclear specific trade agreements and ensuing the UK’s continued involvement in Euratom R&D programmes.

“This will be extremely challenging in the remaining 529 days, alongside all the other negotiations which need to take place.”

Last week, the government introduced the Nuclear Safeguards Bill to Parliament, which aims to bolster the roles and responsibilities of the UK’s existing nuclear regulator, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), once the UK leaves the EU and Euratom.