If the UK joins the European Free Trade Association (“EFTA”) or the European Economic Area (“EEA”), or gets its own deal on similar terms, this would probably mean that the UK would remain part of the IEM and would continue to incorporate the principles of the Third Energy Package into UK law. If this happens, then little is likely to change. However, such an arrangement would probably require the UK to agree to the continued free movement of workers, as well as accepting EU laws and rules on competition policy and state aid, and to the UK having to contribute to the EU budget. Therefore it is possible – likely, even – that the UK will leave the IEM.
Scottish Energy News 12th July 2016 read more »
‘Always look on the bright side of life’. That was a theme associated with the ‘Life of Brian’ (as is strife within the popular fronts of the Labour Party these days of course, but I won’t go into that now). So what’s good about Brexit? Well, it might be a crushing blow to our British economy and environmental laws, but in other ways it might actually help….. One way Brexit will definitely help is that the green interest groups will find it easier to get their way on various environmental issues in EU institutions. The UK won’t be around to perform their usual watering-down role! Take the issue of air pollution. The UK has been an opponent of tightening up EU air pollution regulations. As the Guardian reported on June 3rd this year; ‘EU states have agreed to water down a proposed law aimed at halving the number of deaths from air pollution within 15 years, after intense lobbying from the UK that cross-party MEPs have condemned as “appalling”……Some 14,000 people will die prematurely every year across Europe from 2030 as a result, if the weakened proposal is implemented, according to figures cited by the environment commissioner, Karmenu Vella.’ The UK, under great pressure, accepted the 2009 EU Renewable target which was set as a mandatory commitment for 2020. We’re now set to get 30 per cent of our electricity from renewable energy by 2020, even if we haven’t met our target from energy as a whole. However the UK Government has strongly resisted a further rigorous target for 2030. Clearly, without the UK, the EU could set a stronger renewable energy and energy efficiency ambition! Moreover, anti-nuclear greens may be cheered by news that Chinese investors in Hinkley C are spooked by financial instability in the UK and the declining value of the £ making it even less likely that the Hinkley C nuclear power development will go ahead ahead. Now, think about it, under Brexit, the UK will have a bad environment. But at least it will be better in the rest of the EU! Progress in implementing a range of environmental initiatives in the EU will be a lot smoother and more effective! Indeed, if by some miracle the UK does remain inside the internal market, the UK will have to obey the EU environmental laws anyway, but won’t be able to have any say in making them! Ideal, you could say! But there is one pretty sure way in which the environment is likely to benefit from Brexit, and that is reducing UK energy consumption and thus reducing carbon emissions. That’s because the Brexit-inspired reduction in economic growth will reduce energy consumption. Indeed, the Government will now find that the need to build new conventional power stations is much reduced or even abolished with Brexit.
Dave Toke’s Blog 11th July 2016 read more »