Michael Grubb, Professor of International Energy and Climate Change Policy at UCL, examines claims that EU energy regulation increases the costs of UK energy bills and argues that many benefits are often overlooked.
With a speech today by Amber Rudd, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, energy issues have exploded into the Brexit debate. Not before time. An article by Conservative MP Dominic Raab which accompanied his announcement of support for leaving the EU (Sunday Times, 21 Feb) stated that ‘skewed EU energy regulation will add £149 to bills by 2020.’ In an angry reaction to Rudd’s speech today, Matthew Elliot, the Vote Leave campaign chief executive, reiterated claims that EU regulation adds £billions to overall UK energy bills.
Irrespective of exact numbers, there appears to be a widespread belief by many who favour Brexit that the EU’s energy and climate policies impose significant, unjustified costs on the UK and that we could avoid these by leaving. (more…)