Portsmouth, Hampshire – 25th January 2023
While we are bitterly disappointed that the judgement has been made in favour of Aquind Limited, we will be redoubling our opposition to this project, which now enters a new phase.
As a grassroots community group, Let’s Stop Aquind remains committed to campaigning to protect the environment of Portsmouth, which is at grave threat from the scheme. We will also continue to raise questions over the suitability of Aquind Limited to manage a national infrastructure project in this country. We believe that Aquind’s funding, ownership, lack of experience and conduct with regards to its campaign of political donations, all raise questions of credibility and trust, putting our national security at risk.
We believe that the original decision made by the then Secretary of State, that the harm caused by the project outweighs any benefits of the scheme, remains sound and should be upheld by Grant Shapps. This proposal should be stopped once and fo r all, lifting the threat to our precious green spaces, marine and shoreline wildlife habitats and the chaos to the city that would ensue.
We will be analysing the judgement, and after consultation with other stakeholders will respond in detail to the BEIS, as the documentation used and evidence quoted in the judgement appear to be flawed. We thank Portsmouth City Council, Stephen Morgan MP and Penny Mordaunt MP for their recent statements in response to the judgement, which demonstrate the unanimous opposition across the city to this damaging scheme.
We wish to reiterate that this proposal will not result in cheaper electricity for British consumers, as Aquind has been given an exemption from pricing regulation in order to maximise their profits. Neither is it a green energy scheme, as it relies on importing French nuclear energy, a technology that can have devastating consequences for the environment.
We note that French politicians firmly reject the proposals at both the national and local level, and we hail the work of our sister campaign Non A Aquind in co-ordinating the broad opposition to the project in France.
It is now nearly two and half years since the inception of the group and much longer since the original plans were made. The European energy market and British government policy have changed radically since then. Government policy is now to develop sustainable energy sources within the UK, to improve our energy resilience rather than relying on imports.
The economic case for importing electricity from France has collapsed, as the ageing French nuclear estate goes offline, while prices rise throughout the EU and France looks to secure its own supplies.
Finally we continue to demand a transparent enquiry into the relationship between Aquind Limited and the Conservative Party, which has shamelessly accepted millions in donations from dubious sources.
Ultimately, Aquind will find that it has picked a fight with the wrong city.
Portsmouth stands united against the scheme – we will never give up and never give in.
– Viola Langley and Paula Savage Co-founders, Let’s Stop Aquind.