And I'm by no means a fan of the FT's Nick Butler: but for once he has written plainly and truthfully.
... the experience of Hinkley Point demonstrates that civil servants and ministers are not well equipped to negotiate complex commercial deals against corporate entities with highly developed skills who are able to employ every device, including slick PR techniques against them. On Hinkley the UK negotiators were rolled over.
Nuclear safety ... yeah, right
There will be few projects as large in scale as this one but there are several — including HS2 and the third London airport — where huge amounts of money are at stake. The failure of the Hinkley negotiations, which is commonly acknowledged now in Whitehall, has encouraged the new leadership of the civil service in their desire to develop much higher levels of expertise in key disciplines cutting across their outdated 19th-century structure. They deserve complete support from Mrs May and her ministers. These skills are needed now more than ever because of Brexit ...We could have done with a bit more of this three years ago - the Telegraph was the worst, seemingly a paid mouthpiece of EDF around that time ("slick PR techniques ..." - yes, and totally unsubtle advertising cash). But they've all come over from the Dark Side nowadays. Better late than never ...
"On Hinkley the UK negotiators were rolled over" - ain't that the truth. And his Brexit point is the right macro-conclusion, too.