‘UK families living close to nuclear power stations could get free electricity’

The Business Secretary has said the UK “should copy the French”, benefitting those who do something “in the national interest”

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The Business Secretary has endorsed a French-style system that sees people living near nuclear power stations receive free electricity.

Speaking at an event organised by Policy Exchange think tank, Jacob Rees-Mogg said: “Nuclear power is just fundamental. There’s no way we can get to net zero, or even have an intelligent electricity strategy, without nuclear.”

Highlighting that this was his view and not a government policy announcement, he said: “We should copy the French. As I understand, if you live near a nuclear power station in France, you get free electricity and that’s great because then, I’ll have two in my garden if I get free electricity for my children as well.

“I think you want to recognise that things you do that are in the national interest must benefit those who make the sacrifice for the national interest.”

Earlier Mr Rees-Mogg stressed that he would like to see a simpler development consent process for new nuclear power plants.

He said: “That’s a lot of regulation around that. Did you know that Sizewell C will require 140 individual approvals from arms of the state, each one of which is potentially subject to judicial review.”