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Sizewell C nuclear could become low on the priority list of UK government projects

 Therese Coffey’s appointment as the new Environment Secretary came as a
surprise to those who expected her to return to the backbenches after the
departure of her close friend Liz Truss from Downing Street.

But actually it looks like quite an astute move by new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak if he
wants to keep all wings of his party onside.

What it also does is throw up
a very real challenge for her – the Environment Secretary has one of the
most controversial green issues in the country sitting in the middle of her
constituency and an electorate divided about what the government could do.
Dr Coffey is now in charge of the Department for the Environment, Food and
Rural Affairs – it’s effectively the old Min of Ag with environmental
issues tagged on.

What happens at Sizewell is not up to the Environment
Secretary, but the department has a very big input into the decision. It
would probably have to be one of her more junior ministers who actually
makes its case in the Sizewell debate – but as Secretary of State she will
always be closely identified with that by the public.

Of course, it remains
to be seen how much of an issue Sizewell C is likely to be for the Sunak
government. It is a very expensive project and would require a great deal
of government capital expenditure to get it under way. Given that we’re
facing a second era of austerity in 15 years and that any investment now
will not pay off for a decade, I can’t help feeling that any moves towards
progressing Sizewell C are likely to proceed in first gear (or even be left
in neutral) for the next two or three years.

 East Anglian Daily Times 27th Oct 2022


October 31, 2022 - Posted by | politics, UK

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