Reacting to today's news that the UK Government has been accused of bullying Austria over its nuclear reactor lawsuit, Stop Hinkley Campaign spokesperson Roy Pumfrey said: "For the UK to resort to bullying tactics shows how desperate the Government is to salvage this increasingly moribund nuclear project, despite the fact that there are cheaper, more sustainable alternatives.”
UK threatens to hit back at Austria over Hinkley Point legal challenge
11 February 2015
Austrian chancellor seeks meeting with David Cameron after UK warns it will take every opportunity to damage country in spat over nuclear reactor lawsuit
UK ministers are warning their Austrian counterparts that an arsenal of retaliatory measures will be launched if Vienna goes ahead with plans to challenge an EU state aid decision approving subsidies for new nuclear reactors at Hinkley point in Somerset .
A diplomatic cable from the Austrian embassy in London to Vienna, seen by the Guardian, says that the Foreign Office's Europe director, Vijay Rangarajan, conveyed a message that “the UK will take in the future every opportunity to sue or damage Austria in areas that have strong internal political effects,” unless the lawsuit was dropped.
Initial measures would include: a complaint to the European Court about Austrian electricity labelling rules, pressure for Austria to contribute more to EU effort – sharing funds when it does not accept nuclear power as a “sustainable energy source”, and an investigation into whether Austria's suit violated the Euratom treaty.
“Further steps and escalation cannot be excluded after the complaint has been submitted,” the cable says.
Austria's chancellor Werner Faymann is seeking a meeting with David Cameron at an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday, after the foreign minister, Philip Hammond, called his Austrian opposite number, Sebastian Kurz, to protest Austria's planned court action, the Guardian has learned.