Ahead of a meeting between the prime minister and the Chinese Premier at this weekend’s G20 conference, Green MEP Molly Scott Cato has written to Theresa May outlining why she believes Xi Jinping must be told that the UK government will not proceed with a new nuclear power station at Hinkley.
In her letter to Theresa May, Molly identifies the huge costs of the project; safety issues associated with technical concerns over the proposed design; threats to energy security posed by the long delay in the construction of the Hinkley plant; and security concerns associated with handing over a national infrastructure to the Chinese government.
Molly also draws attention to two ongoing legal challenges to the project, one from Austria and Luxemburg, appealing to the European Court of Justice over the Commission’s decision to grant state aid for the project; the other a further state aid challenge by a group of renewable energy companies in Germany. Molly has written to the European Commission questioning how Hinkley can proceed while these legal challenges are ongoing. She said:
“Theresa May must call time on Hinkley and tell Xi Jinping that the UK is not willing to hand over a strategically important part of our national infrastructure to the Chinese Communist Party. If she agrees to this deal, consumers will be forced to collude in the low human rights and environmental standards seen in China, which is simply unacceptable.
“It is also inconceivable that Hinkley can be allowed to progress while there are ongoing legal challenges through the European Court of Justice. These legal cases mean that this project may never be allowed to get off the ground even if the government decide to press ahead with this white elephant and all its inherent problems.
“Theresa May must use the opportunity that a review of Hinkley provides to trigger a transition to a renewable energy revolution; one which can provide cheaper and greener electricity and provide greater energy security and generate thousands more jobs than nuclear power.”