A House of Lords Committee has warned of potential threats posed to the UK’s energy trade if the nation leaves the EU.
In a new report, the EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee suggests Brexit risks the UK’s currently “frictionless trade in energy with the EU”.
The EU currently supplies around 12% of British gas and 5% of electricity – this must continue if demand is to be met.
Although this is possible after Brexit, the Committee says it is likely to be less efficient, creating the potential for higher energy bills and even supply shortages.
The report also stresses the EU’s nuclear body Euratom is fundamental to the current functioning of nuclear energy generation in the UK and adds leaving could block the import of vital materials and fuels.
It also highlights that without specialist EU workers, the construction of new nuclear sites such as Hinkley Point C might not be possible.
The Committee urges the government to set out how it will manage these issues with the EU and ensure energy in the UK remains reliable, affordable and sustainable.
Lord Teverson, Chairman of the EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee, said: “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.”