UK energy’s after Brexit
The impact of Brexit on Euratom has not been thought through. The government has failed to consider the potentially severe ramifications of its Brexit objectives for the nuclear industry. Ministers must act as urgently as possible. The repercussions of failing to do so are huge. The continued operations of the UK nuclear industry are at risk.
In a world outside of the European Union, energy self-sufficiency is common sense and nuclear, alongside gas, will be fundamental in that reliable mix. The government argues that the UK must leave Euratom following Theresa May’s triggering of article 50 on 29 March, but the Business committee notes that legal opinion is divided.
The committee’s report recommends maintaining access to the internal energy market and retaining membership of the emissions trading system until 2020 at least.
The University of Cambridge suggested that energy cooperation could be reframed as an issue of security rather than trade, and an energy security treaty could be established with neighbouring countries.
The membership of the internal energy market has been beneficial to UK and EU consumers and has helped provide flexibility and certainty to the supply of energy. The EU Renewable Energy Directive requires the UK to generate 15 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020 – up from three per cent when the directive was adopted in 2009.
Currently, the UK is committed to getting 15 per cent of all energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar by 2020.