Lords warn over Brexit impact on energy

A new report from a House of Lords committee has warned that Brexit could lead to higher energy bills and the risk of supply shortages.

The EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee said the UK currently benefits from “frictionless trade in energy with the EU” which supplies around 12% of British gas and 5% of its electricity.

The committee said it was important that level of contribution to meeting the UK's energy needs was maintained after Brexit although they did warn it was likely to be less efficient.

The Lords also stressed the importance of the EU’s nuclear body Euratom to nuclear energy generation in the UK and that restrictions on European workers could threaten the construction of new nuclear sites such as Hinkley Point C.

‘Reliable, affordable, sustainable’

The committee has called on the UK Government to set out how it will manage these issues with the EU and ensure energy in the UK remains reliable, affordable and sustainable.

The report concludes that, post-Brexit, the UK may be more vulnerable to energy shortages in the event of extreme weather or unplanned generation outages.

Lord Teverson, Chairman of the EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee, said: ““Individuals and businesses across the UK depend on a reliable and affordable supply of energy.

Cross-border trade ‘cheaper and easier’

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, Internal Energy Market and the other bodies that develop and implement the EU’s energy policy.”

> Read more about the report here