Sunday 26 June 2016 2:46 pm

Brexit creates fresh wave of uncertainty for Hinkley Point

EDF's plans to build an £18bn nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset will be subject to a fresh wave of uncertainty following Brexit.

Asked whether Brexit could lead to Hinkley being scrapped, Angus Brendan MacNeil, chair of the energy and climate select committee, said: "Anything could happen … Hinkley is in a very different position this week than it was last week."

Read more: EDF to sell RTE stake to fund Hinkley Point

"At the very least the final investment decision (FID) will again be kicked down the road … you can't see the French committing billions to a country they thought was in the European Union and no longer is."

Peter Atherton, utilities analyst at Jefferies, said: "It's yet another added complication in what's already a very complicated process."

He added that if chancellor George Osborne, who is a strong supporter of the project, leaves the Treasury his replacement "might take a somewhat different view".

A DECC spokesperson said: "We are fully confident that Hinkley Point C will go ahead”.

EDF reiterated its commitment to the much-delayed nuclear plant after Brits voted to leave the EU on Friday.

EDF chairman, Jean Bernard-Levy, said: "In the last few days, spokespeople on energy issues for the Brexit camp – notably Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom – have on numerous occasions and again in recent days come out in favour of maintaining the decarbonisation policy, of maintaining the nuclear option, and of maintaining the Hinkley Point project."

"Therefore there are no consequences from this vote today," he added.

Read more: Hinkley Point dealt fresh blow as French trade unions continue to oppose it

The FID for Hinkley, which has been pushed back several times, is expected to taken in September.

EDF, which has debts of €37bn (£28.6bn), is awaiting a bailout from the French government. It recently posted a 68 per cent plunge in net profit due to asset impairments, while slashing its dividend.