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Belgium blocks export of nuclear technology to UK

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Belgium blocks export of nuclear technology to UK

Old 25th Nov 2022, 07:08
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Belgium blocks export of nuclear technology to UK

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/b...nato-kv78fcwdg

Belgium blocks export of nuclear technology to UK

Belgium and the UK have become embroiled in a row after the Belgian government blocked the export of technology that is critical for maintaining the British nuclear deterrent, despite both countries being Nato allies.

The dispute has been escalated by warnings within the Belgian government that Britain has threatened to cancel an arms order worth up to £514.90 million (€600 million) for machineguns made by Belgium’s FN Herstal unless the export is authorised. Senior Belgian government sources are worried that the row endangers western unity and Nato at a time of war in Europe.

Two weeks ago, the federal Belgian government refused authorisation for a specialised isostatic press needed to maintain Britain’s nuclear arsenal because the greens, which make up a fragile ruling coalition, vetoed the export. The technology, a specialised high-pressure isostatic press used in the nuclear industry for handling radioactive waste, is made by the American-Belgian company EPSI in Antwerp.

An export licence, required after Brexit, was seen as a formality before Belgium’s deputy prime minister Georges Gilkinet, who is a member of the green party Ecolo, blocked it due to opposition to nuclear weapons and the arms industry.

A senior Belgian government source said the presses were “unique in the world”, according to the Flemish BusinessAM website . “This is hallucinatory. We are allies within Nato and in the context of a huge conflict on the borders of Europe. And now Ecolo is going to say that we are not allowed to supply weapons to our own Nato partner?”

The press is used as part of the manufacturing process in Britain’s Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston, responsible for the design, manufacture and maintenance of British nuclear warheads…..

The row has become public in recent days, despite being classified as a Belgian defence secret and has now escalated with the British threat to cancel contacts worth between £257.40 and £514.90 million (€300 and €600 million) that are vital to the economy of Belgium’s industrial south.

The leaks of the “highly sensitive military information” to Belgium’s LN24 broadcaster have resulted in a political battle that could collapse Belgium’s seven-party coalition. The decision is still contested within the government, according to local sources, and there is a question mark over the future of jobs and investment at FN’s factory near Liège.

Georges-Louis Bouchez, the president of the liberal MR party, which is part of the coalition, called on Ecolo to “get a grip” and stop pouring “ridicule” on Belgium. “Refusing the sale of equipment to Great Britain is the greatest of dogmatic stupidity. It is not acceptable,” he said.

During a debate in parliament yesterday, Georges Dallemagne, a Christian Democrat MP, said Britain was a valuable ally. He added: “This is all the more outrageous given the UK’s consistent military involvement in Nato . . . and in particular in the Ukrainian conflict where we should be following the example of our British allies.”
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Old 25th Nov 2022, 08:54
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Belgian politics - parish pump at best..................
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Old 25th Nov 2022, 09:52
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They should eat more greens. Sprouts are best, and are in season now!!
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Old 25th Nov 2022, 09:56
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Wouldn't that be grounds for being kicked out of NATO?
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Old 25th Nov 2022, 10:02
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Two hours and no-ones blamed Brexit yet, must be a record.
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Old 25th Nov 2022, 11:36
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"Belgium’s seven-party coalition. "

lets see - in the UK that would be - Tories, Labour, SNP, LibDems ,Democratic Unionists, Sin Fein, Plaid leaving Alba, the SDLP, Alliance, Greens and some independents outside the tent

No wonder they can never agree........
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Old 25th Nov 2022, 11:52
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Originally Posted by golfbananajam View Post
Two hours and no-ones blamed Brexit yet, must be a record.
I blame Brexit! 😁
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Old 25th Nov 2022, 12:17
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Originally Posted by HOVIS View Post
I blame Brexit! 😁
I mean, whilst refusing the license is the fault of the incumbent coalition, the fact that a license is required is, by all accounts, indeed the fault of Brexit, so probably a legit blame!
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Old 25th Nov 2022, 12:26
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Belgium has a government?

When did that happen?
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Old 25th Nov 2022, 12:50
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Don't hold your breath... it may collapse again any minute now!
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Old 25th Nov 2022, 13:34
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You may all laugh at Belgium but hey dont do so badly for a small country, they also seem to exert some controover our allegedly independednt nuclear deterrent. They also have a decent health service, educational system and generally reasonabe quality of life as well as good food . And if we hadnt left the EU there would have been no way of blocking it, but I must be mistaken there becuase Brexit is the best thing thats happend to Britain since the Romans left isnt it .
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Old 25th Nov 2022, 15:23
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The press isn't needed for the manufacture or maintenance of weapons - just for treatment of nuclear waste. The solution is thus obvious. The raw nuclear waste should be placed in containers and dropped from a supersonic flyby onto the Belgian parliamentary buildings.

Problem solved, and Brussels gets the added benefit of reduced street-lighting costs as the place would already glow in the dark.

PDR
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Old 25th Nov 2022, 15:40
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Originally Posted by HOVIS View Post
I blame Brexit! 😁


I f there was a like button, I'd have used it.
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Old 25th Nov 2022, 15:45
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This is why the EU is based in Brussels. It is a country in name only. Apart from chocolate and beer, what has Belgium given the world?

Last edited by LTNman; 25th Nov 2022 at 20:01.
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Old 25th Nov 2022, 15:46
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Originally Posted by golfbananajam View Post
Two hours and no-ones blamed Brexit yet, must be a record.
No need to mention it when it's in the original post that this would not be an issue pre-brexit.
Brexiteers aren't known for detail or for reading documents to the end though.
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Old 25th Nov 2022, 15:53
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So presumably Belgium will also cancel the large Arms contracts/supplies as well to all non EU countries ?
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Old 25th Nov 2022, 15:57
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Originally Posted by pax britanica View Post
You may all laugh at Belgium but hey dont do so badly for a small country, they also seem to exert some controover our allegedly independednt nuclear deterrent. They also have a decent health service, educational system and generally reasonabe quality of life as well as good food .
Their standard of motorway driving though...
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Old 25th Nov 2022, 16:06
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Originally Posted by pax britanica View Post
You may all laugh at Belgium but hey dont do so badly for a small country, they also seem to exert some controover our allegedly independednt nuclear deterrent. They also have a decent health service, educational system and generally reasonabe quality of life as well as good food . And if we hadnt left the EU there would have been no way of blocking it, but I must be mistaken there becuase Brexit is the best thing thats happend to Britain since the Romans left isnt it .
I thought Belgium was perpetually bankrupt, or am I behind the times?
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Old 25th Nov 2022, 16:14
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Originally Posted by pax britanica View Post
You may all laugh at Belgium but hey dont do so badly for a small country, they also seem to exert some controover our allegedly independednt nuclear deterrent. They also have a decent health service, educational system and generally reasonabe quality of life as well as good food . And if we hadnt left the EU there would have been no way of blocking it, but I must be mistaken there becuase Brexit is the best thing thats happend to Britain since the Romans left isnt it .
Yes it is, and no going back, especially when Labour form the next government. That Is Starmer's policy. Good.
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Old 25th Nov 2022, 16:16
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Originally Posted by LTNman View Post
The is why the EU is based in Brussels. It is a country in name only. Apart from chocolate and beer, what has Belgium given the world?
Tin Tin
Hercule Poirot
The Saxaphone
Roller Skates
The Smurfs
The Pill
The first internal combustion engine

Last edited by Ninthace; 25th Nov 2022 at 16:27.
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