In Brief

May faces Tory rebellion over decision to leave Euratom

Ministers search for ways to replicate treaty as backbenchers threaten to vote with opposition

Tory backbenchers have threatened to vote against Theresa May's decision to take the UK out of the Euratom treaty governing the movement of nuclear materials in the EU.

Sky News says "at least nine" Tory MPs have signalled they will join forces with Labour and Lib Dems to vote against the issue, claiming membership of Euratom is vital for the UK's nuclear industry. Ministers are now looking for ways to replicate the benefits of the treaty to stop the growing rebellion, reports The Guardian.

At the weekend, former Conservative culture minister Ed Vaizey and senior Labour MP Rachel Reeves used a joint article in the Sunday Telegraph to condemn the decision to pull out as part of the Brexit process.

"Though little known, it plays a vital part in many areas of our everyday life," they wrote.

According to the London Evening Standard, the decision could also put cancer patients at risk.

Dr Nicola Strickland, president of the Royal College of Radiologists, told the paper "Brexatom" could threaten the availability of radioactive isotopes needed for scans and treatment.

Meanwhile, Dominic Cummings, former campaign director of Vote Leave, called government officials who favoured leaving "morons".

A possible rebellion among pro-Remain Tory MPs means May cannot be sure of a majority on the issue in the Commons even with the support of the DUP, raising the possibility of a "humiliating defeat on a key element of her Brexit plans", says the Standard.

The Guardian says "pressure has been mounting" since the Prime Minister included leaving Euratom in the letter triggering Article 50, but "critics believe [May] has created the problem by insisting the UK cannot remain under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice".

Although the treaties relating to Euratom are separate from those keeping the UK in the EU, the agency requires members to be under the jurisdiction of the court – a red line for the government.

It is "unclear" how the UK will replace the procedures and regulations currently managed by Euratom, says The Independent. The country is a major producer of enriched uranium, much of which it exports to the continent, but if new treaties are not made quickly, it could "run out of nuclear fuel within two years".

The Guardian also says that Whitehall sources are looking at a number of options to ensure that post-Brexit Britain has the "same outcomes" as it currently enjoys within Euratom.

They include an associate membership similar to that held by Switzerland, or paying money to an international agency to set up an independent arrangement.

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