The fog has lifted. All is clear. It hasn’t taken long to realise why Home Secretary Theresa May recently told Berkshire Bosses that the Home Office was working out ways of reducing the red tape for UK based Chinese companies to bring their employees to the country.
Hot on the heels of an announcement that the Chancellor has announced a number of measures to simplfy visa application process for visitors to China, news has come in that Chancellor George Osborne, has given the green light for Chinese companies taking a stake – including potential future majority stakes – in the development of the next generation of British nuclear power!
He made the announcement at Taishan nuclear power station in Southern China on the final day of this week’s visit to China. Taishan is a collaboration between French energy company EDF and the China General Nuclear Power Company. Big wheels within wheels it seems.
While any initial Chinese stake in a nuclear power project is likely to be a minority stake, over time stakes in subsequent new power stations could be majority stakes. We are being told that any investment from any country has to comply with rigorous regulatory standards for safety and security.
Phew, that’s a relief! I know typhoons and tidal waves are highly unlikely on our shores but safety surely has to be number one priority? I am sure this debate has only just begun and some people will get hot under the collar about it, especially those who have seen our own industry destroyed by lack of investment and lobbying by the climate change protesters.
It is a major topic. It is amazing what is happening. Big money talks. Alot is at stake. The Home Office has confirmed the PM himself is heavily involved in the recent deals. He apparently took a close and active interest in the steps taken to succeed in the global race. He supported what the Chancellor was doing and plans to go to China again himself. No wonder Theresa May “went off piste” and debated a national topic at the recent lunch of Berkshire Executives in Maidenhead.
Naturally the government big guns are enthusiastic.
The Chancellor said:
The Chancellor said: Today is another demonstration of the next big step in the relationship between Britain and China – the world’s oldest civil nuclear power and the world’s fastest growing civil nuclear power. It is an important potential part of the government’s plan for developing the next generation of nuclear power in Britain. It means the potential of more investment and jobs in Britain, and lower long-term energy costs for consumers.
Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey said:
This is an exciting development, strengthening our relationship with China in a way that will benefit both countries. Investment from Chinese companies in the UK electricity market is welcome, providing they can meet our stringent regulatory and safety requirements.
Join in the Berkshire debate and let us know your views. We have the Home Secretary on our patch and should get our voice heard.
Carla Delaney Communications
Business Writer of the Year Award Winner
Thank you to Lily at www.prospectchinese.com for the photo