Peter Hoskin

Merci beaucoup, Msr. Sarkozy

Merci beaucoup, Msr. Sarkozy
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Next week, Gordon Brown will meet with Nicolas Sarkozy at the home of French football. And, according to early reports, Sarkozy will come bearing a few petits cadeaux – among which will be an Anglo-French agreement to construct a new generation of nuclear power stations.

Why should we regard a mutual agreement as a gift from the French? Because we have so much more to gain from it than they have. After all, whilst our Government has spent the past decade pumping money into ineffectual wind power, the French have steamed ahead with nuclear energy. Around 79% of France's electricity comes from nuclear power; and they have some of the most advanced technology and expert technicians in the world. By contrast, Britain's nuclear power plants are out-of-date and dilapidated, and our best technicians have departed for more nuclear-friendly shores. An injection of French expertise is exactly what Brown needs to meet his nuclear power ambitions.