To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, pursuant to the oral evidence given by the Minister of State for Energy to the Energy and Climate Change Committee on 24 May 2016, at Question 200, what the basis is for the Minister's statement that the case brought by the government of Austria in the European Court on the European Commission decision on state aid for the Hinkley Point reactor has no merit; and whether that statement refers to lack of legal or of political merit.
9 June 2016
The UK Government has intervened in the legal challenge brought by Austria against the European Commission’s State aid decision for Hinkley Point C. We have always been confident that the Commission’s decision is legally robust and, as a party to the proceedings, we have now seen the legal arguments made by Austria in their pleadings to the European General Court. It is on this basis that we do not consider that Austria has submitted a challenge of any merit. We consider that the Austrian Government, although following the correct legal procedures in challenging certain aspects of the State aid decision through the Court, has been motivated by its political stance on the future of nuclear more generally.