Mark Menzies backs Springfields nuclear fuels workers

Fylde MP Mark Menzies spoke during the Nuclear Safeguard Bill debate which will help protect the British nuclear industry throughout the Brexit process.
Mr Menzies spoke in support of the 1,200 nuclear fuel workers at Springfields in Fylde, as well as the wider industry.
He said the Bill must ensure the nuclear industry is able to trade from the ‘first post-Brexit moment’.
In the House of Commons, he said: “This Nuclear Safeguard Bill is of real importance to the 1,200 people who work at Springfields nuclear fuels in my constituency. Springfields is at the heart of the British nuclear industry. We are the only site in the UK to manufacture nuclear fuel. As we have already heard this evening, 21 per cent of the UK’s electricity production is produced from nuclear energy, and a great swathe of that is from nuclear fuel manufactured in Fylde.
“Whenever I hear the phrase “northern powerhouse”, I think not just of the nuclear industry in the north-west, but of the nuclear fuel that is manufactured in my Fylde constituency. I have met both the workforce and the management in recent months.
“Initially, there were some real concerns over the UK’s possible exit from Euratom and what that would mean for the continuity of supply. However, in conversations with the Minister, I have been deeply reassured by the fact that this is a Government who are working towards the possibility of remaining a member of Euratom and, if we cannot do that, of ensuring that we are safeguarding Britain’s civil nuclear interests by having these measures firmly in place in this Bill.
“This is not just about dealing with trade between the UK and Europe, important though that is. Springfields Fuels is owned by Westinghouse, a company with quite complex ownership—both Japanese and American footprints. Therefore, any deal or legislation must be compliant with what our Japanese and American partners have in place. I am reassured by the Minister’s words in our meeting last week and in the debate this evening that this Bill will, indeed, cover that.
“The nuclear industry must be able to trade from the first post-Brexit moment. Without implementation of the safeguards in the Bill, the UK would be unable to put the nuclear co-operation agreements in place in the future. Those are currently provided under the Euratom regime and they are vital because this is about not just dealing with Europe, but all our international partnerships.
“We are not just talking about nuclear fuel in its completed form, but oxides, pellets and the various added-value products that a company such as Springfields Fuels puts into the nuclear supply chain.
“If we do not get this right, the jobs of British people could ultimately be at risk and moved elsewhere. It is not about keeping lawyers busy. I am delighted that the Minister understands that has looked at all aspects of the UK civil nuclear industry and has made sure that the measures will protect not just the nuclear industry in the abstract sense, but real people and real jobs now and in the future. That is something for which we should be grateful.”
Bury St Edmund MP Jo Churchill added: “The nuclear industry and our nuclear future in all its guises is extremely important to us all. To that end, the Bill is a necessary measure in response to the decisions taken after the referendum — a plan B, as some have referred to it. I urge everyone to join me in giving the Bill an unopposed passage through the House this evening.”
Mr Menzies also asked in the House: “Does my hon. Friend accept that medical isotopes and some associated equipment are also very high value, so it is not in the interests of those who manufacture and seek to export to us to put obstacles in the way of selling high-value, highly profitable pieces of equipment or machinery, be they the isotopes or anything related to them?”
North Dorset MP Simon Hoare, told him: “My hon. Friend gets the point, because he takes a Conservative approach to the operation of the economy.
“People in Britain want to buy something. We do not make it, but some countries overseas do. But we have also heard this, ‘We make too much for our domestic market and we want to sell it overseas. We have been doing this for years, but, do you know what? Just to bite off our nose to spite our face, we’ll stop doing it.’ I would say it was bizarre if it were not so careless.”

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