The UK government owns a third stake in the uranium enrichment business, with another third owned by the Dutch and the rest split between utility companies E.ON and RWE. A sale would require agreement of all parties. In November the Dutch government expressed concerns about the plans, with claims that it would not be in the national interest to sell. The news came despite a green light from Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem in May.
At the weekend Mei Li Vos, an MP in the Dutch coalition government, told the Telegraph that she did not think the £9bn price tag for the business was high enough. “The only argument that has been raised in favour of a sale is remaining friends with the British and for financial motives, and I do not believe this is reason enough to sell this sensitive asset,” she added.
A spokesman for the UK government said: “We continue to work with the Dutch government towards a sale. These discussions remain positive."