The UK Government wants the Single Electricity Market (SEM) covering Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to continue once Britain leaves the European Union (EU), according to the latest position paper.

Downing Street said the EU should prioritise the discussion of energy issues alongside the movement of people and goods to provide reassurance and certainty to both customers and investors.

London said the SEM had reduced consumer prices, allowed for the integration of renewables and ensured security of supply.

The position paper noted that the SEM is linked to Great Britain through two interconnectors but has links to no other countries.

Gas questions

The paper also pointed out that Northern Ireland was reliant on Great Britain for all its natural gas, while Ireland buys 40% of its gas from the UK.

“The UK believes that there should be a strong shared desire between the UK Government, Irish Government and the rest of the EU to support the stability of energy supply on the island of Ireland,” the paper added.

“The efficient transit of gas across the border to and from Ireland, and maintaining affordable, sustainable and secure electricity supplies across the island of Ireland are central to achieving this.”

> Download the position paper