Glasgow North West MP Carol Monaghan has said that the UK’s proposed withdrawal from the European nuclear regulator shows how ‘chaotic and reckless’ the UK Government have become.
Speaking in a Westminster Hall debate, Monaghan warned that leaving the European Atomic Energy Community, better known as Euratom, would leave the UK without a regulatory framework for nuclear safeguarding, trade and funding which could have a devastating impact on the UK’s medicinal and scientific research.
Commenting following the debate, Monaghan said:
“This chaotic and reckless UK Government seeks to put nuclear energy at the heart of its energy strategy, yet has no plans to remain part of the agency that oversees the security of markets, businesses and workers in that sector.
“My colleague, Dr Philippa Whitford MP, raised the impact that leaving Euratom could have on medical isotopes used in cancer diagnosis and treatment. We cannot produce these isotopes on our own, and being unable to import them into the UK from the few countries that can could affect half a million diagnostic scans and 10,000 cancer treatments.
“With a number of the reactors producing medical isotopes coming to the end of their useful lifespans, there could be real issues in terms of their supply worldwide. Now is not the time to take ourselves out of the agency that ensures we have access to that supply.
“Nonetheless, the SNP don’t share the love for nuclear fission that the UK Government seems to have – our future lies in renewables. Nearly 60% of our energy needs in Scotland come from renewables, and whilst we recommend that the UK Government scrap their nuclear obsession in favour of investment in renewable energy and carbon capture and storage, we still have nuclear facilities which still need regulations and materials.
“We need transitional arrangements for nuclear safeguarding, trade and funding until the Brexit negotiations are complete and the UK Government must involve the Scottish Government at every stage of the negotiation process to ensure that the deal reached works for Scotland’s nuclear industry.
“For the UK to establish its own regulatory framework will take many years – not the twenty months they have available to them. The clock is ticking and the UK Government must commit to retaining our Euratom membership.”
Watch Carol’s speech in full below: