For nearly 60 years the European Atomic Energy Community has ensured the highest standards of safety, research and collaboration in nuclear energy and products across the UK and Europe. This longstanding collaboration was dropped by Theresa May in a footnote of the Article 50 Bill, to the shock and dismay of researchers and professionals in the energy, medical and peace sectors.
Euratom regulates our nuclear power stations, radioisotopes and therapies vital for cancer care, and the movement of nuclear waste around the whole of Europe.
It is critically important the UK remains in Euratom for our NHS, as our membership has meant that cancer patients in the UK have been able to receive vital radiotherapy treatments without supply-related disruptions and uncertainties. With the Nuclear Safeguards Bill going through Parliament at the moment, it is crucial we make this case.
Leaving Euratom without ‘a plethora of nuclear agreements’ would leave the UK ‘crippled’, said Dame Sue Ion, Chair of the Nuclear Innovation and Research Advisory Board.
No one voted to leave Euratom, the relevant communities were not duly consulted and there is no benefit to leaving Euratom.
There is not sufficient time to agree the myriad of bilateral agreements required to compensate for leaving Euratom, especially when the Brexit negotiations are in stalemate.
We call on the government to retain membership of Euratom and protect our NHS in our future relationship with Europe.
“There is a plethora of nuclear agreements that would have to be struck . . . before we could begin to move not only materials but also intellectual property, services, anything in the nuclear sector...we would be crippled without [these deals] in place."
Dame Sue Ion, Chair of the Nuclear Innovation and Research Advisory Board
"...no-one has ever passionately petitioned to leave Euratom. Neither the public nor even the nuclear industry knew this was on the ballot paper. As the Commons business committee said: "We are not aware of any substantive arguments in favour of leaving Euratom made either during the referendum campaign or afterwards." Any justification for leaving presented now is simply a post-hoc construction for ulterior ideological reasons."
Dr Mike Galsworthy, Programme Director at Scientists for EU
"The Nuclear Institute is of the opinion that there is insufficient time between now and the government’s proposed date for Brexit to safely make all of the essential changes to UK legislation, regulations and international agreements in place of the Euratom Treaty."
The Nuclear Institute
We the undersigned call upon the government to ensure that the United Kingdom remains a full member of the European Atomic Energy Community.
Although the process of leaving the European Union is both unprecedented and complex, it does not mean that we should compromise in an area where there is no public will or advantage to our withdrawal.
Leaving Euratom would put vital cancer treatments at risk for up to one million people, therefore the UK should remain a full Euratom member.