Tom Greatrex: The full effects of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union are yet to be fully understood, and is unlikely to be until well after Article 50 is activated and negotiations formally begin. The decision to leave will effect pretty much every industry in the UK, but with no real contingency planning undertaken prior to the referendum, we will all simply have to wait. It will be important the new cabinet unit created to understand the implications fully engage with industry to ensure the best possible outcome for UK business. Despite this, today and for probably at least two years, the UK remains a member of the European Union. More importantly for the energy sector, the result to leave, just as had there been a result to remain, does not change the UK’s energy challenge. More than 24GW of generating capacity has come offline in the last six years and needs to be replaced, whether in or out of the EU. As a result, we must use the mechanisms already in place as the starting point to attract investment in the reliable, low carbon electricity generation needed to keep the lights on and meet our domestic and international emissions commitments. In fact, outside of the EU, solving this energy crisis in as low carbon a way as possible is perhaps more pertinent because we must reduce our exposure to the long term volatility of fluctuating fossil fuel prices, which would hit consumers and businesses.
Politics Home 30th June 2016 read more »