Hinkley Point deal shows Britain has less control after Brexit

The Hinkley Point C (HPC) nuclear power plant in Somerset will be built by a French state-owned energy company and funded in part by a Chinese state-owned group.

EDF, which is 85% owned by the French government, is expected to give the final go-ahead to the project following a board meeting later today. HPC will also receive one third of its funding from the Chinese state owned CGN group.

The plant when finished will supply 7% of the UK’s electricity and provide over 9,000 permanent jobs.

The HPC development was the subject of the EU competition investigation in 2014, and was only approved following representations from the UK government.

Tom Blenkinsop, MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, and member of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, said:

The success of this vital project will now rely on Chinese and French government money, over which we will have less influence due to Brexit.

My constituents who voted for Brexit did so because they wanted more control. We are now dependent on governments we hold little sway over for our energy security, that’s not the greater control leave voters wanted.

The fact that the Chinese government has secured a foothold in our energy infrastructure and could massively influence our energy future, should worry those who were concerned about the sway even other democratic countries had over our internal affairs.

In order to secure foreign investment post-Brexit we will have to give more and more. The last government jeopardised the British steel industry to encourage Chinese investment in the UK, I worry what we might have to give up next.

HPC is scheduled to go online in 2025 and is predicted to provide over 30,000 jobs before then.

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