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Agreements required before withdrawal

Part of Nuclear Safeguards Bill – in the House of Commons at 7:30 pm on 8th May 2018.

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Photo of Drew Hendry Drew Hendry Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) 7:30 pm, 8th May 2018

I am delighted that the hon. Lady intervened at that point, because I was just about mention that condition 2 in amendment (a) states that

“(a) one or more of the principal international agreements have not been signed, but

(b) in respect of each agreement that has not been signed, arrangements for the corresponding Euratom arrangements to have effect in relation to the United Kingdom after exit day—

(i) have been made”— which would be fine—

“or (ii) will, in the Secretary of State’s opinion, have been made before exit day.”

That is simply not good enough. Given that we are already seeing a lack of transparency around Hinkley Point C and rising costs, and around what is happening in Anglesey at the Hitachi plant, we cannot take such things on trust. It is vital that the Government are transparent on this issue now, because so much is at stake for people.

In conclusion, we have been advised that a deal has been struck with the USA, but will the Minister provide an update on the other agreements that need to be in place before the UK exits Euratom? After all, he expects us to take him at his word, so it should follow that we will be regularly updated on progress. In the interests of transparency, will he place the draft withdrawal agreement with Euratom in the Library? Although this is a reserved matter for the UK Government, the Scottish Government have regulatory powers on nuclear waste and emissions, so what discussions has he had with the Scottish Government to date on this issue? If he has had none, as I expect, what discussions does he intend to have?