Secure, reliable and safe electricity and gas supplies are critical facilitators of economic growth

The all-island electricity industry position on BREXIT is set out in an EAI paper. The statement calls for negotiators to recognise that secure, reliable and safe electricity (and gas) supplies are critical facilitators of economic growth and to focus on identifying the opportunities of benefit to customers.

EAI is particularly keen to avoid the energy sector becoming enmeshed in wider political deal-making given its critical role to social and economic wellbeing.

The paper notes that maintaining the SEM is key to ensuring the benefits of market efficiencies, cost savings and enhanced security continue.

It lists a number of key principles for any future trading arrangement between the UK and EU.

The outcome should ensure that:

• Markets continue to function efficiently and provide appropriate locational signals for investments
• Effective mutual security of supply arrangements to address emergencies are retained
• Customers should not be disadvantaged
• Wider political considerations should not result in sub-optimal treatment of the energy sector

The optimum solution would be for the UK to continue to participate in the EU’s Internal Energy Market (IEM). Absent this outcome the following is required:

• WTO arrangements for the (tariff-free) trading of energy be applied and extended to electricity
• Energy, climate and environment policy frameworks remain coordinated
• No artificial barriers are created to the retention of the SEM and arrangements for gas
• Mutually supportive gas and electricity security of supply agreements are retained

The paper also notes that it is not imperative that the ECJ be the arbiter of disputes in the context of future energy trading arrangements.

Further information

EAI Position Statement on BREXIT