Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West, has pledged to continue the fight against a new nuclear power station at Hinkley, following agreement by the out-going Barroso Commission on a controversial financial deal.

The European Commission today gave approval to plans by the UK government to give public support for the construction of a new nuclear power plant at Hinkley, with a proviso that certain adjustments are made to the contract [1].

Commenting on the decision and the Greens’ continuing opposition to Hinkley and nuclear, Molly Scott Cato said:

“In waving through the massively problematic Hinkley C deal, the outgoing Barroso-led EU Commission is giving a cynical boost to nuclear power. There can be no doubt that the generous terms being offered by the UK government to EDF on Hinkley C amounts to illegal state aid under EU rules. It is a scandal that one of the final acts of the Barroso Commission is to turn a blind eye to the illegality of the Hinkley deal.

This deal, and the precedent it creates, is a massive setback for renewable energy in the South West and the rest of the UK. Small scale renewable energy producers will find it difficult to compete with large scale subsidised nuclear, meaning the thousands of potential jobs that could be created in the renewables sector will be lost.

Today’s decision by the Commission will not be the last word. The European Commission cannot be allowed to clear the path for further exorbitant public spending on this dated and dangerous technology, when we should be promoting a safe and sustainable energy future for Europe. Greens will fully support any legal challenges that may now present themselves.”

[1] European Commission press release: State aid: Commission concludes modified UK measures for Hinkley Point nuclear power plant are compatible with EU rules: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-1093_en.htm

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