Brexit will put energy trading between the UK and EU at risk, warn Lords

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 29 January 2018 in News

The EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee found that, with the EU providing around 12 per cent of the UK’s gas, leaving the single market could raise serious problems for maintaining supply

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Brexit will put energy trading between the UK and EU at risk, according to a new House of Lords report.

In a new publication, ‘Brexit: energy security’, members of the EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee found that, with the EU providing around 12 per cent of the UK’s gas and five per cent of its electricity, leaving the single market could raise serious problems for maintaining supply.

The Lords also stressed that the nuclear safety and research treaty Euratom is “fundamental” to the current functioning of nuclear energy generation in the UK.

Failure to replace its provisions by the point of withdrawal could result in the UK being unable to import nuclear materials, peers warned, bringing the UK’s civil nuclear industry to a halt.

The report also expressed concern that without access to specialist EU workers plans to build new nuclear generation sites, such as including the controversial Hinkley C project, may not be feasible.

The report warns that leaving the EU creates the potential for higher energy bills, while also risking supply shortages in the event of extreme weather or unplanned generation outages.

Lord Teverson, chair of the EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee, said: “Individuals and businesses across the UK depend on a reliable and affordable supply of energy. In recent years, the UK has achieved such a supply in partnership with the EU, working with other member states to make cross-border trade in energy easier and cheaper.

“Over the course of the inquiry the committee heard about the benefits of the UK's current energy relationship with the EU, and the minister acknowledged these benefits when he stated his hope that Brexit would result in as little change as possible.

“It remains unclear, however, how this can be achieved, without remaining in the single market, IEM and the other bodies that develop and implement the EU's energy policy.”

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