Calls for clarity over nuclear regulation post-Brexit

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Watchdog worries: Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock LEANNE BOLGER
Watchdog worries: Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock LEANNE BOLGER
3 April 2017 10:21AM

BARROW and Furness MP John Woodcock has called for clarity on the future of nuclear regulation after the prime minister announced Britain would leave the industry's European watchdog.

His counterpart in Copeland though, Trudy Harrison, has said this decision presents an opportunity for Cumbria.

Theresa May said in her letter on Article 50 last week that the UK would leave Euratom - the European Atomic Energy Community, responsible for nuclear safety and security in Europe since 1957 - as part of Brexit.

Mr Woodcock said: "The prime minister made it very clear in her article 50 letter that we will be leaving Euratom alongside the EU, but she has still failed to set out why this is necessary or desirable.

“The regulations put in place by Euratom have served the UK nuclear industry well, and it will be a huge job of work to establish own separate nuclear safety authority.

“The government must make resolving the uncertainty they have created for the nuclear industry a priority as we enter these difficult negotiations and do nothing to further risk the future of this vital sector.”

Mrs Harrison though said that leaving Euratom was the "right thing to do" and said that the UK should set up its own nuclear regulatory body using international frameworks.

"I would hope that this could be based in Copeland, it would seem to me to be the best location for it," she added.

"Japan and the USA have a similar arrangement and, obviously, they are not part of Euratom so there is a model there."

Before Mrs May sent her letter, research carried out on the effects of leaving Euratom by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers called for the prime minister to develop a transitional framework nuclear co-operation agreements for trade deals.

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