Thursday, 4 August 2016

Brexit: and Hinkley and the Local Enterprise Partnership

Things now look very doubtful for Hinkley:
Futures Forum: The issues of ownership and energy security @ Hinkley C >>> but 'business in the South West face the bitter disappointment of further delays'

This has worried the Local Enterprise Partnership:


1 AUG 2016

“Hinkley Point C – UPDATE

Posted: 29 July 2016

Following the news of EDF’s final investment decision on Hinkley, we urge the government to make a quick decision in support of the project. The Hinkley investment and its legacy will have a major benefit for the economy of the surrounding communities and the wider UK for decades to come and is truly transformational.”

Hinkley Point C - UPDATE | Heart of South West Local Enterprise Partnership

Transformational for whom exactly!

2 thoughts on “Our LEP’s view on Hinkley C hold up”

Paul F says:
2 Aug 2016 at 10:58am

Generally speaking, the primary legacy of a nuclear reactor is an increased level of background radiation – providing no accidents happen then although increased it should be at an acceptable level (unless of course improved scientific knowledge decides that the safe level is lower than existing standards).

But of course if thereis a nuclear accident, then the lasting legacy will be very different.

Alan White says:
2 Aug 2016 at 12:11pm

Why is not a name at the bottom of this LEP statement ? As an unelected business quango with vested interests, Who is he speaking for ? Why are they putting pressure on the government ?

Our LEP’s view on Hinkley C hold up | East Devon Watch

With further comment today in the Daily Mail:


4 AUG 2016

An abbreviated article by Max Hastings.

Our Local Enterprise Partnership does not seem to share his concern, pushing hard for the deal to go through. Membership of our LEP is heavily dominated by the nuclear interests of several of its Board members.

The abbreviated article:

“The Prime Minister’s decision to review the £18 billion Hinkley Point nuclear power project has won a cheer from everyone not in line to make money from it. When the holidays are over, there are two good reasons why Theresa May should go further and cancel the scheme. The first is that its electricity will be fantastically expensive.

The second, which we shall consider here, is that it was a critical error of judgement for the Cameron government to invite the People’s Republic of China to fund a huge national infrastructure project.

Allowing the Chinese access to Hinkley Point, and beyond it to other British nuclear plants, would give a hostage to fortune. The record shows that the Chinese can’t be trusted with sensitive industrial data. Fair dealing has no place in their system.
A decade ago, Robert Zoellick, then World Bank president, said the West’s future relations with China required the country to become a ‘responsible stakeholder’ in the international order.

This it has not yet done. Until it happens, we cannot do big business with Beijing.

The last government, and especially the then-Chancellor George Osborne, cherished naive ambitions to create a historic new trading relationship with the dragon. …

… A nation that engages in global industrial espionage, employing an estimated 1.5 million geeks to penetrate other people’s computers — while denying its own people online access — is not a comfortable business associate. … We underestimate at our peril the ruthlessness with which they pursue their objectives. …

… Already, China’s long arm has stretched to Africa and South America, where it is effectively colonising huge areas by buying up the supplies of raw materials such as oil, copper and iron ore which it needs to feed its endless consumption of energy and its vast building programme.

David Cameron and George Osborne hoped to cash in on a slice of the potentially huge trade market available in China, which is why last October the British government staged an unprecedentedly chummy state visit for President Xi Jinping, at which the Queen herself was obliged almost to kowtow. …

… involvement in the design of the Hinkley Point reactor is part of a wider plan, whereby by 2025 the Chinese could hold a £105 billion stake in British infrastructure.

Yet for this to make sense, we need to believe that China can be a benign, honourable, honest industrial partner. None of those adjectives seems appropriate now, or in the near future. …

… The price of industrial co-operation with Beijing is British silence about China’s systemic human rights abuses, of which the highest rate of state executions in the world is only the most conspicuous example. …

… We should be equally worried about the Second Bureau of the Third Department of the People’s Liberation Army — otherwise known as Unit 61398, which is engaged in the theft of intellectual property across the world. President Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice said last autumn that Chinese industrial espionage is ‘not a mild irritation, it’s an economic and national security concern to the United States’.

Chinese hacking of personal and corporate information, she said, ‘undermines our long-term economic co-operation, and it needs to stop’. …

… David Cameron and George Osborne seemed to believe that Britain, by treating the Chinese nicely, might persuade them to behave better, at least to us. This seemed naively mistaken last year, and is mistaken now.

So, likewise, was British willingness to allow the Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei to bid for contracts in this country, when the United States won’t allow the firm anywhere near its domestic systems.

The UK’s intelligence and security committee expressed dismay that the government was so eager to promote Chinese trade and investment that it seemed willing to ignore the obvious risks of admitting the Chinese to our telecoms networks.

For Huawei — like the China Nuclear Power Corporation (CNPC) — is no independent entity. Both are arms of the communist state. The CNPC’s website acknowledges its commitment to ‘the building of national defence’, alongside its economic and industrial objectives.

It’s not necessary to be an old-fashioned Cold Warrior to consider it folly for Britain to treat China as a friend while it promotes values and pursues objectives utterly at odds with those of this country and its allies.

… For now, however, we need to sup with both nations [China and Russia] using a long spoon. There may be a time, when Beijing has showed itself worthy of trust, when we should cut deals for Chinese investment in our infrastructure. But that time has not come yet.

The involvement in Hinkley Point of one of the most repressive and secretive regimes in the world poses unacceptable risks. Britain will have to pay a stiff forfeit for abandoning the project, but it seems right for the Prime Minister to make that decision.

There are many powerful economic arguments for cancellation, but the threat to our national security is the clincher.

It would be sheer folly to do nuclear deals with the Chinese writes MAX HASTINGS | Daily Mail Online

Hinkley C and National Security | East Devon Watch

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