Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill — Clause 1 — Key Definitions for Part 1 — 10 Jan 2022 at 18:45
The majority of MPs voted against an amendment which alone had no impact, but which was part of a series of amendments seeking to require nuclear companies funded via the provisions of the Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill to not be controlled, and owned for investment purposes, even in part, by a foreign state, and to require reactor fuel rods for the company's reactors to be produced in the UK.
The Bill provides powers for the Government to help fund, and encourage private investment in, new nuclear power stations by directing funds from consumers, via electricity suppliers, to pay for the design, construction, commissioning and operation of a new nuclear energy generation project.
The amendment rejected by a majority of MPs in this vote was:
- Amendment 1, page 1, line 15, at end insert—
- “(6) ‘Owned by a foreign power’ means owned by a company controlled by a foreign state and operating for investment purposes.”
The rejected amendment was accompanied by the following explanatory statement from its proposer:
- This amendment is a definition of “Owned by a foreign power” set out in Amendment 2.
Amendment 2 stated:
- Clause 2, page 2, line 14, at end insert—
- “(c) the nuclear company is not wholly or in part owned by a foreign power, and
- (d) the fuel rods for the company’s reactor are supplied by a UK based company.”
Amendment 2 was accompanied by the following explanatory statement from its proposer:
- This amendment prevents the Secretary of State from designating a nuclear company owned or part-owned by the agents of a foreign power and ensures that the fuelling of the designated company’s reactor is provided by a UK based company.
The additional conditions set out in Amendment 2 would have been added to the criteria for designation of nuclear companies in Clause 2 of the Bill. Designated companies would be eligible for the funding arrangements for nuclear energy generation set out in the Bill.
The specific phrase "Owned by a foreign power" does not appear in the text of Amendment 2.
The explanatory notes to the Bill state:
- Large scale nuclear power plants are the only proven technology available today to provide continuous, reliable and low carbon electricity.
- the Government’s analysis shows that the UK is likely to need nuclear generation beyond the new plant being constructed at Hinkley Point C. To meet the challenge of net zero [targeted greenhouse gas emissions by 2050]
The motion supported by a majority of MPs in this vote was:
- That the amendment be made.
The amendment in question was amendment 1.
Amendment 1 alone did nothing, as amendment 2 which introduced a phrase along the lines of that defined had not yet been considered.
A definition requiring the designated nuclear company to be owned by another company limits the scope of the definition.
The definition proposed by Amendment 1 appears to reduce the scope of the meaning of "Owned by a foreign power" from what it might otherwise have been interpreted as. The amendment restricts the meaning to cases where the ownership is for investment purposes, and where the state also controls the company.
-  Parliament's webpage on the Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill, Parliament.uk
-  Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill as introduced, 26 October 2021, Parliament.uk
-  Explanatory notes to the Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill as introduced, 26 October 2021, Parliament.uk
-  Amendment paper for consideration of the Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill in the House of Commons on 10 January 2022, Parliament.uk
Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.
What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.
What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.
What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.
|Party||Majority (No)||Minority (Aye)||Both||Turnout|
|Con||308 (+2 tell)||0||0||85.6%|
|Lab||0||156 (+2 tell)||0||79.8%|