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Britain Seeing Higher Risk of Blackouts After Brexit

Britain Seeing Higher Risk of Blackouts After BrexitBritain Seeing Higher Risk of Blackouts After Brexit

Britain probably will risk more energy supply shortages after leaving the European Union, a panel of lawmakers from the House of Lords said, adding to pressure on the government to bring forward measures that protect consumers from higher costs.

“It’s likely that Britain’s withdrawal from the EU will lead to less-efficient energy trade, which could in turn increase the price paid by consumers for energy security,” the House of Lords EU Committee said in a report published on Monday, Bloomberg reported.

“Post-Brexit, Britain may be more vulnerable to supply shortages in the event of extreme weather or unplanned generation outages.” The committee drawn from the main political parties said the government’s Brexit negotiation stance to reject an enduring role for the European Court of Justice “places significant political and institutional constraints” on Britain’s ability to remain in the EU energy market.

The lawmakers urged the government to clarify its post-Brexit policy in the event it’s forced to leave that market.

“While the government appears confident that a post-Brexit energy relationship with the EU will favor Britain, we are concerned that this confidence is based on a misplaced expectation of pragmatism and that broader political considerations may affect the degree to which Britain can engage with the internal energy market post-Brexit,” they added.

Britain’s markets will probably diverge from Europe’s after Brexit because it does not want the Brussels oversight, the Oxford Institute of Energy Studies said in September.

There is a risk that power-trading volumes will fall and prices will rise because regulatory regimes will not match, EPEX Spot SE, an electricity exchange, said last year.

“If we have less control, we’re more vulnerable,” said Robin Teverson, chairman of the House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Subcommittee, by phone.

The EU withdrawal bill is due to be debated in the Lords next week and Teverson plans to propose a compromise amendment where Britain would remain in the EU’s energy market and adopt a system similar to Norway for dispute resolution, which takes account of European Court of Justice decisions, Teverson said.

Even as Britain begins its exit, there are at least 12 power-cable projects valued at more than €10 billion in the works to expand the island nation’s connection to the surplus generating capacity on the continent.

 

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