Clause 5 - Revocation or lapse of designation

Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 3:15 pm ar 18 Tachwedd 2021.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Alan Whitehead Alan Whitehead Shadow Minister (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Climate Change), Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) 3:15, 18 Tachwedd 2021

I rise to speak to amendment 7, in clause 5, page 4, line 16, leave out “either” and insert “any”.

This amendment is consequential on amendments 2 and 3.

This amendment was tabled to deal with the possible eventuality that we would have three designation criteria in clause 2(3), rather than two, as is the case at the moment. We moved an amendment to try to place three criteria into that clause, which the Committee did not accept. The statement, therefore, that either of those two criteria are relevant stands as far as the Bill is concerned, and the word “either” should therefore not be replaced by “any”. On that basis, amendment 7 logically falls, so I have no wish to move the amendment.

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Clause 5 provides the Secretary of State with the power to revoke the designation of a nuclear company and sets out the applicable circumstances and procedure for doing so, as well as the circumstances and procedure whereby a project designation could lapse. The revocation power is tightly constrained by subsection (1). It applies only where a nuclear company ceases to hold a generation licence in respect of the nuclear project for which it was designated or it no longer meets the designation criteria. It is important that only the right projects are able to benefit from a RAB where they are sufficiently advanced and likely to provide value for money.

As set out in subsection (2), revocation of a designation would follow a similar process to project designation. The Secretary of State must prepare draft reasons, consult the named persons and publish a revocation notice, where relevant; they can attach additional conditions to a designation notice, as set out in subsection (3). If a company fails to comply with the conditions set out in the designation notice, the Secretary of State will notify the company that it has failed to comply, which will result in the designation lapsing. Such a notice must be published by the Secretary of State under subsection (5).

Such a model is a common feature of similar RAB models. The procedures envisaged allow time for consideration and consultation before any decision to revoke is taken. Given that the ability to continue to meet any of the conditions attached to designation is within the control of the company, there is no consultation requirement for the Secretary of State before a designation lapses.

Taken together, these routes to ending a designation provide an important layer of protection for consumers before a designated company enters into a RAB. In essence, they allow for a designation to end in any circumstance where it is no longer appropriate for a company to benefit from a RAB before project funding begins.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 5 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.