Britain’s departure from the European Union (EU) could have an adverse effect on energy trading between the UK and the EU, a new report has warned.
The comments, which come from the House of Lords’ EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee, suggest that unless an adequate agreement is formed during ongoing Brexit negotiations, leaving the single market could prove problematic for maintaining energy supply in the UK.
Currently, an estimated 12 per cent of the UK’s gas and five per cent of its electricity is supplied by EU-based sources, the Sub-Committee’s report suggests.
It argues that if Britain leaves the market, overall trade is likely to be less efficient – creating potential for supply shortages for the UK and ultimately threatening the nation’s energy security.
The report, entitled Brexit: energy security, also suggests that such a scenario could result in higher energy bills for individual and business consumers that “depend on a reliable and affordable supply of energy.”
Following the publication of the report, the Sub-Committee is calling on the Government to clarify exactly how it would work with the EU in order to alleviate the problem of potential supply shortages – which can easily occur due to extreme weather conditions, or other unpredictable factors.
Lord Teverson, Chair of the EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee, warned that Britain’s existing relationship with the EU had a number of benefits for Britain and that it was important Brexit resulted in “as little change as possible” in this respect.
However, he said that it “remains unclear” how the existing relationship can be maintained “without remaining in the single market, IEM and the other bodies that develop and implement the EU's energy policy.”
Alex Neill, Director at consumer group Which, added: “Brexit raises crucial questions on the UK's future energy supply and pricing.
“It’s vital that the Government focuses on delivering a Brexit that puts consumers first, prioritising vital issues like avoiding energy shortages and ensuring affordability.”