UK nuclear power stations ‘could be forced to close’ after Brexit

Leaving Euratom treaty will shut down nuclear industry if international safety agreements are not made in time, MPs told

Nuclear power stations would be forced to shut down if a new measures are not in place when Britain quits a European atomic power treaty in 2019, an expert has warned.

Rupert Cowen, a senior nuclear energy lawyer at Prospect Law, told MPs on Tuesday that leaving the Euratom treaty as the government has promised could see trade in nuclear fuel grind to a halt.

The UK government has said it will exit Euratom when article 50 is triggered. The treaty promotes cooperation and research into nuclear power, and uniform safety standards.

Unlike other arrangements, if we dont get this right, business stops. There will be no trade. If we cant arrive at safeguards and other principles that allow compliance [with international nuclear standards] to be demonstrated, no nuclear trade will be able to continue.

Asked by the chair of the Commons business, energy and industrial strategy select committee if that would see reactors switching off, he said: Ultimately, when their fuels runs out, yes. Cowen said that in his view there was no legal requirement for the UK to leave Euratom because of Brexit: Its a political issue, not a legal issue.

The UK nuclear industry would be crippled if new nuclear cooperation deals are not agreed within two years, a former government adviser told the committee.

Euratom explainer

There is a plethora of international agreements that would have to be struck that almost mirror those in place with Euratom, before we moved not just material but intellectual property, services, anything in the nuclear sector. We would be crippled without other things in place, said Dame Sue Ion, chair of the Nuclear Innovation and Research Advisory Board, which was established by the government in 2013.

She said movement of the industrys best intellectual talent was made easier by the UKs membership of Euratom.

The government said it was working on alternative arrangements to Euratom. Describing the notification of withdrawal as a regrettable necessity when article 50 is triggered, energy minister Jesse Norman said that the UK saw clear routes outside of Euratom to address issues such as the trade of nuclear materials.

We take this extremely seriously and are devoting serious resources [to looking at new arrangements], he told the Lords science and technology committee on Tuesday.

Tom Greatrex, chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, said there was a lot to be done to put in place transitional measures replacing Euratom.

What were collectively warning about is the potential for there to be a very hard two-year period during which there are lots of other things the government has to deal with, that could leave it in a position where some of these things arent in place, he said. Greatrex said one possible option was an associate membership of Euratom.

Over the weekend, the GMB union called on ministers to reconsider their foolhardy rush to leave the treaty, claiming it could endanger the UKs entire nuclear future.

But the Office for Nuclear Regulation argued there could even be be some positives to leaving Euratom, such as a reduction in bureaucracy. If we relinquish Euratom there would be reduced burden from not having to comply with directives, said David Senior, an ONR executive.

Norman also promised a decision was due soon on the next stage of a delayed multimillion-pound government competition for mini nuclear reactors, known as small modular reactors. I love the projects and ideas but I want to be shown the value, he told the peers.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/feb/28/british-nuclear-power-stations-could-be-forced-to-close-after-brexit

Tale of two houses: Marni and Dolce & Gabbana light up Milan fashion week

Marnis new creative chief sports a colourful collage while Dolce & Gabbana serves up the champers and Instagram

Sunday at Milan fashion week was the setting of two very different stories. First up was Marni, which made its name for cerebral clothes loved by the art crowd, with a womenswear debut from new designer Francesco Risso.

And then Dolce & Gabbana, a label that, increasingly, loves a catwalk stunt to generate chatter around its leopard print and lace-fuelled glamour. This time that came through casting influencers Instagram stars, children of celebrities, even magazine editors as models. The contrast between the two shows could not have been more extreme.

Following the departure of Marnis founder and creative director, Consuelo Castiglioni, from the company in October last year, Francesco Risso, 33, an ex-Prada designer, took over as creative director. This Sunday morning in Milan was his first womenswear show.

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Pretty in pastel: Marni outfits ready for the catwalk. Photograph: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images/Marni

The show paid homage to Castiglionis legacy and subtly set out that this was Rissos Marni 2.0, the first designed by a man. The first pieces, like a skirt suit and dress with cocoon-like volume, felt typical, as did the ugly sandals with bulbous heels and too-long soles, and the statement earrings. Then there were the Risso elements brocade dresses with bra tops over them worn with sunglasses and mid-calf boots, a collage of ideas with a sort of club kid feel.

That was also there in oversized hats, Big Bird-worthy pastel-coloured fuzzy coats, and vinyl jackets. Seventies prints, sickly sweet colours and nipped in trouser suits, meanwhile, revealed the influence of the designers previous employer. It felt like a collection designed to plant the seeds of something to grow rather than ripping up what came before and starting again.

Backstage, Risso a lanky puppyish presence with a mop of curly hair, wearing a vintage Western shirt showed his millennial credentials. He said he was super excited by his new role, and explained, slightly gnomically, that the collection was called be1ngs to include different identities. The one is in place of the i so singularity and plurality are equally important in this collection, he explained.

He also paid tribute to Castiglioni. Consuelo and the work she has done is so important to me, he said. She was so amazing in freeing stereotyped vision of a woman or a man. That is something that I really care about and I want to fight for.

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A creation of Dolce & Gabbana at Milan fashion week, on Sunday. Photograph: Luca Bruno/AP

Consuelo Castiglioni founded Marni with her husband, Gianni, in 1994. It has been suggested that the Castiglionis departure could have been down to a difficult relationship with Only The Brave. Renzo Rossos company, which also owns Rossos Diesel and Maison Margiela, bought 60% of Marni in 2012. Marnis revenues grew 15.4% in 2015, to 127m. The company has 60 stores around the world.

Dolce & Gabbana started their show like a stadium concert, with screens all around flashing up the names of those about to walk on the catwalk. Models included Oliver Cheshire and Pixie Lott, Alice and Charlotte Dellal, and Jo Ellison, fashion editor of the Financial Times who is touted as a possible next Vogue editor. She walked to smiles from the British press, including Alexandra Shulman, who sat in the front row.

In a show that was more about entertainment than selling clothes, included were also dogs, babies and small children. Austin Mahone, the 20-year-old singer with 10 million followers on Instagram soundtracked everything with a live performance. It proved irresistible to those in the front row. Even Anna Wintour, usually cross-armed, was smiling and clearly enjoying the spectacle.

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Pixie Lott, second left, off to the runway for the Dolce & Gabbana show. Photograph: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

It finished with waiters in pageboy outfits appearing with trays of champagne and most audience members leaving the venue struggling to take everything in. In the world of Dolce & Gabbaba unlike Marni there is no such thing as OTT.

This was the first womenswear collection from Dolce & Gabbana since Melania Trump wore one of their dresses in January. Stefano Gabbanas praise of the new first lady on social media prompted an outcry from fans, with some suggesting they would be boycotting the brand.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2017/feb/26/tale-of-two-houses-at-milan-fashion-week

Pope Francis: better to be an atheist than a hypocritical Catholic

Pope criticises double life led by some members of his own church during the sermon of his private morning mass

Pope Francis has delivered another criticism of some members of his own church, suggesting it was better to be an atheist than one of many Catholics who he said lead a hypocritical double life.

In improvised comments in the sermon of his private morning mass in his residence, he said: It is a scandal to say one thing and do another. That is a double life.

There are those who say, I am very Catholic, I always go to mass, I belong to this and that association, the head of the 1.2 billion-member Roman Catholic church said, according to a Vatican Radio transcript.

He said some of these people should also say my life is not Christian, I dont pay my employees proper salaries, I exploit people, I do dirty business, I launder money, [I lead] a double life.

There are many Catholics who are like this and they cause scandal, he said. How many times have we all heard people say if that person is a Catholic, it is better to be an atheist.

Since his election in 2013, Francis has often told Catholics, both priests and lay people, to practise what their religion preaches.

In his often impromptu sermons, he has condemned sexual abuse of children by priests as being tantamount to a satanic mass, said Catholics in the mafia excommunicate themselves, and told his own cardinals to not act as if they were princes.

Less than two months after his election, he said Christians should see atheists as good people if they do good.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/23/pope-francis-better-to-be-atheist-than-hypocritical-catholic

‘JeSuisIkea’: Trump’s comments confuse Swedes as supporters cry cover-up

After Trump suggests a non-existent terrorist attack took place in Sweden, supporters claim the media is covering up migrant crimes

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/20/jesuisikea-trump-sweden-terrorist-attack-confuse-supporters-cover-up

Mike Flynns love of Putin has dangerous echoes across Europes right | Owen Jones

Trumps US national security adviser resigned over his relationship with Russia, but its leader is a hero to populists who want to see authoritarian, racist regimes across the west

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/14/michael-flynn-vladimir-putin-populist-right-europe

Violence flares in war-weary Ukraine as US dithers and Russia pounces

As Ukrainian forces trade shellfire with Russia-backed rebels, the residents of Avdiivka face endless stress and misery

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/14/avdiivka-frontline-ukraine-war-russia-backed-separatists