Although this is a Brexit based newsletter I am going to avoid terms such as hard, soft, clean and especially Brexit means Brexit! What I am covering this time is what has happened so far that relates to energy. Mainly reporting ‘facts’ but with some commentary.
Arguably the general level of Brexit uncertainty is an issue for many aspects of business today. This is certainly true for energy supply and energy management. Many energy decisions need a background of longer term certainty or stability.
However, it always makes good sense to effectively manage energy – regardless of what is happening with Brexit or the oil markets.
The topics for this newsletter are:
- Article 50
- The Great Repeal Bill
- Energy Sector Roundtable
- The price of oil
Article 50 is the mechanism by which we initiate the process to leave the EU. When it is triggered the two-year negotiation period starts. The Prime Minister has stated that she will invoke Article 50 no later than the end of March 2017. This does of course mean that it might happen before. Not sure I want to predict that it will – or will not!
The Great Repeal Bill
In parallel, but not directly linked to Article 50, is the Great Repeal Bill. If passed this will mean that the day we leave the EU, the European Communities Act will cease to exist. This process will “return sovereignty to the sovereign institutions of this United Kingdom”. What is still not clear at this stage is the range and extent of legislation that will be impacted by this. If you recall in the lead up to the referendum the civil service was unable to determine the exact amount of EU derived legislation that we have. An objective of the Great Repeal Bill is to “convert existing EU law into domestic law, wherever, practical.” This could mean that legislation like ESOS will remain in place.
UK Energy Sector, Round Table Meeting
This meeting took place on Monday 17th October and was chaired by David Davis, the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU. Also present was Minister of State for Energy & Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville Rolf.
The Energy Sector was represented by board level executives from:
I have provided hyperlinks above if you want to find out more about those represented.
Part of the press statement was:
Government and industry will work in partnership to identify and address the challenges and seize the new opportunities that arise from Brexit, meet our carbon targets and deliver an energy market that works for all. This will be an important part of Britain’s negotiation to leave the EU. We are determined to work together, ensuring Britain’s supply of secure, affordable and clean energy is maintained.
This statement commits to carbon targets and a supply of (in priority) secure, affordable and clean energy. Note: Clean energy is a term that covers more than just renewables. So arguably, the above statement is light on its commitment to renewable energy?
Looking at the attendees it can be seen that the majority were related to the supply side – this is understandable as with first things first we need to establish the issues around energy supply. We have become part of a harmonised EU energy market, so it is bound to be a key area to address as part of Brexit.
The UK ‘loyalty’ of the attendees is worth considering. On the energy supply-side there were a number of global and non-UK owned parties at the table. Are they best suited to represent the UK’s energy interests over their own? That said, it is right that the Government should seek their views as they are key players.
The price of oil
We are now seeing price increases – related to the value of the pound – which many commentators say is a direct result of Brexit. We have all witnessed the stand-off between Unilever and Tesco. However, with energy there is also the backdrop of increasing global oil prices (trades in US$.) So, it would be wrong to say that all of the increase in fuel prices is a direct result of Brexit.
The next newsletter will be produced when I think there is something worth reporting or to confirm that nothing of much has happened!
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