I, for one, am not sick of experts.
In fact, I’m inclined to listen to experts very intently when it comes to safeguarding nuclear products used, for example, in medical imaging technology.
And when experts commenting on this issue tell me they’ve got severe concerns about the government’s plans to make us leave Euratom, I think that the government should sit up and take notice.
On Tuesday I sat on the bill committee for the Nuclear Safeguards Bill. It’s part of my job as a whip to recruit Labour MPs to that committee who have the expertise to challenge the government on their plans. We scrutinise – line by line – the legislation that will govern the regulations and safety structures around nuclear material used in many industries in the UK.
On Tuesday, senior nuclear energy lawyers who were giving evidence to the committee stated that we do not have to leave Euratom if (and it is still very much an if) we leave the EU in 2019. You can see the Hansard transcript here.
And at the same committee, the Deputy Chief Inspector for the Office for Nuclear Regulation said we will not be able to create a structure that replicates Euratom by the time we are due to leave the EU under the terms of Article 50 (again, the Hansard transcript is available here).
So today, I asked the government to consider the risks, and keep our membership of Euratom on the table as part of any Brexit deal. The minister Steve Baker MP refused, claiming we need to leave Euratom if we are to leave the EU.
I listen to experts. I consider it a vital part of my job as someone who contributes to shaping UK law. And on something as vital as the safety of our nuclear industry, I wish the government would listen too.
You can watch my question to the Brexit department – and the answer – below: