Leadsom: Energy policy will not change due to Brexit
The UK's energy policy will not change as a result of the vote to leave European Union, energy minister Andrea Leadsom has said.
“In my view, as I was clear all the way through the campaign, for energy policy I don’t believe anything will change,” she said, speaking before the Energy and Climate Change Committee today (29 June).
Leadsom continued: “I think that the UK’s Climate Change Act of 2008 is absolutely key to our climate change objectives. We continue to be absolutely committed to those.”
She said the government’s commitment to cooperating with others to tackle the issue remains as strong as ever, adding: “Of course we never were just working with the EU.” With regards to interconnectors Leadsom again said “nothing will change”.
Her comments echoed those made today by energy secretary Amber Rudd in a speech at an event in London. “However we chose to leave the EU,” she said, “let me be clear: we remain committed to dealing with climate change”.
Rudd said the issue has not been downgraded as a threat: “It remains one of the most serious long-term risks to our economic and national security.”
She pointed out that the Climate Change Act was “not imposed on us by the EU,” adding that it “underpins the remarkable investment we have seen in the low carbon economy since 2010”.
Rudd also gave an update on the publication fifth carbon budget: “You can expect the government’s decision tomorrow. It is an important building block of our economy’s future and you would expect us to take our time to ensure we got the decision right.”
Writing exclusively for Utility Week ahead of the referendum, Leadsom said Brexit would allow the UK to avoid taking on the future responsibility to divert gas supplies to neighbours under the EU’s proposed ‘solidarity principle’ if they suffer a major shortage.
Earlier this week University College London professor Michael Grubb told Utility Week the vote to leave the EU created great uncertainty for the energy industry, both over the domestic political landscape and whether or not the UK would have access to the single market.