Brexit from Euratom
While looking at the broader impact of Brexit we have noted an outcry a few weeks ago on the British government's intention to leave the Euratom treaty as well as the EU. This was apparently buried in a footnote to the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill:
"The power that is provided by clause 1(1) applies to withdrawal from the EU. This includes the European Atomic Energy Community (‘Euratom’), as the European Union (Amendment) Act 2008 sets out that the term "EU" includes (as the context permits or requires) Euratom (section 3(2))."
The realisation of this led to outraged shock, as in this Guardian comment by Clare Moody entitled "We are heading for a senseless nuclear Brexit - with no political or legal mandate". The issue of the political mandate is the recurring argument by the remains of the Remain camp. Their fall-back position appears to be that it is not clear what kind of Brexit the British electorate voted for last June. Theresa May's "Brexit means Brexit", on the other hand, appears to sum up the view that Brexit means exit from anything and everything associated with the EU.
Regarding Euratom in particular, Steve Peers wrote a piece at the EU Law Analysis blog in which he argues that in practice leaving Euratom is an inevitable consequence of Brexit.
One reason for this is that the 1967 "merger treaty" brought together the institutions of the European Communities (Economics, Coal and Steel, and Atomic Energy). From that point on, the European Council, Commission, Parliament, and Court of Justice also had responsibility for Euratom. He then homes in on the resulting article 106a of the Euratom treaty.
"In practical terms, this would mean that if the UK left the EU but not Euratom, it would still have Members of the European Parliament, a Commissioner, a role on the Council, judges on the EU courts, and so on. From a legal perspective, it’s hard to believe this odd scenario was intended by the drafters of the Treaties; from a political perspective, this prospect would surely dismay those who voted to Leave."
The UK could negotiate its way back into the Euratom treaty after Brexit in a manner similar to the envisaged free-trade agreement. There are two articles of the Euratom treaty allowing it to enter into (association) agreements with non-Euratom countries. The best way forward is for the UK goverment to express willingness to negotiate such an agreement, and to start consulting with British stakeholders about the desired content of such an agreement.