The UK and Canada have signed a bilateral Nuclear Cooperation Agreement (NCA) in preparation of the UK’s departure from the European Union, allowing both countries to continue their “mutually beneficial” civil nuclear cooperation when current EU arrangements cease to apply in the UK.
Announcing the agreement, the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said the UK has now concluded all replacement international agreements needed to ensure continuity of civil nuclear trade following its exit from the European Atomic Energy Community.
The NCA was signed in Ottawa by Mark Gwozdecky, Canadian Assistant Deputy Minister of International Security & Political Affairs, and Susan le Jeune d’Allegeershecque, British High Commissioner to Canada.
Following the signing ceremony, UK Business and Industry Minister, Richard Harrington, said:
“This latest international agreement will help ensure our civil nuclear trade with Canada can continue seamlessly, providing certainty for our world-leading nuclear sector which provides one fifth of all our electricity. These preparations have been recognised as gold standard.”
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The BEIS also emphasized that the Nuclear Cooperation Agreement will soon be presented before the UK Parliament for ratification, alongside the two nuclear safeguards agreements signed with the International Atomic Energy Agency in June. This will ensure that, “in the unlikely event” of there being a no Brexit deal, they can come into effect at the end of March next year.
The Nuclear Cooperation Agreements demonstrate the continuing collaboration between the CANZUK countries ahead of the UK’s departure from the European Union, as the UK will open e-passport gates at airports to citizens of CANZUK countries in the new year, and Australia announced the signing of two space and defence agreements with the UK and Canada.
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