‘UK must be able operate as independent nuclear state post-Brexit’

The UK Government aims to achieve a close association with Euratom but plans to be prepared to operate as an independent nuclear state if necessary

The Big Zero report

The UK Government has responded to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee report into the impact of Brexit on the civil nuclear sector.

The original report called on the government to agree its future relationship with Euratom as soon as possible to minimise unnecessary expenditure and provide greater certainty.

BEIS has said through Brexit negotiations, it aims to achieve a close association with Euratom in the future but is putting in place all the necessary measures to ensure the UK can operate as an independent nuclear state.

The government added it is working closely with the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) to ensure the UK’s future domestic civil nuclear safeguards regime will continue to meet international safeguards and standards when Euratom regulations no longer apply in the UK.

It said UK officials have been engaging with the US, Canada, Japan, and Australia to ensure uninterrupted co-operation and trade in the civil nuclear sector.

The government continued: “The nuclear industry remains of key strategic importance to the UK and we want to ensure that projects and investment, like Hinkley Point C, are not adversely affected by the UK’s withdrawal from Euratom.

“The UK remains open to accessing the talent we need from Europe and the rest of the world in the nuclear industry but this needs to be managed so that our immigration system serves the national interest.”

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