THERE is still an urgency to secure the future of research at a world-renowned Oxfordshire science facility, says its top boss.

Yesterday, Brexit negotiator David Davis announced that the Government would continue to work closely with the European regulator on atomic research – Euratom– despite leaving the EU.

The future of nuclear fusion research (known as JET) at Culham Science Centre could be thrown into jeopardy failing a secured deal when the UK leaves the Euratom community.

In papers outlining how the UK will negotiate on important issues related to Brexit, Mr Davis said: “While the UK is leaving Euratom we want to continue working closely with the Euratom Community to help ensure a smooth and orderly exit and to pave the way for a future relationship that benefits the UK and the remaining 27 Member States.

“The UK will look to agree Nuclear Cooperation Agreements with key non-EU states including the USA, Canada, Australia and Japan.”

UK Atomic Energy Authority CEO Prof Ian Chapman said: “The publication of the Government’s policy, together with the previous announcement that the Government will underwrite the UK’s fair share of JET funding, demonstrate positive first steps to enabling a close relationship with Euratom in the future.

“The existing Euratom contract to run JET ends in December 2018. There remains urgency to reach an agreement on Euratom with the European Commission, which should enable the UK to continue JET operation and participate in the international fusion project.”

Four of Oxford’s MPs raised the need for a deal to be secured on Wednesday during a debate in Westminster Hall.