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24.11.2017

How will Brexit impact the energy sector?

Brexit Energy Insights – this is the title of the joint survey which Becker Büttner Held (BBH) in collaboration with the UK law firm Shakespeare Martineau published yesterday.

On this occasion, a roundtable discussion was held yesterday at the Brussels office of BBH with selected experts from the UK and Brussels. The survey as well as yesterday’s discussion make it clear: Brexit might have dramatic consequences for the energy sector in the UK. If no agreement is reached in the context of the Brexit negotiations, in particular, rising energy prices, declining investments in renewable energy projects and security of supply problems are to be expected.

On 29 March 2019, the UK will cease to be member of the European Union. It is still completely unclear whether and how the UK will continue to participate in the internal energy market. Either way, Brexit will not leave the energy sector unscathed. “This situation has caused considerable uncertainty for companies of the energy sector. The goal of our survey was to find out about the prevailing spirit of decision-makers in this respect and what the energy sector is getting ready for,” explains lawyer and BBH partner Dr. Dörte Fouquet, who was in charge of the survey on BBH’s part.

The panel of experts that met at the Brussels office of BBH confirmed this statement. The experts from the EU take a more relaxed stand in the discussion about security of supply and price development, while there is a growing concern among experts from the UK – the experts state that all options are being examined in order to avoid critical situations and price fluctuations.

In addition, there are many other problems to deal with ranging from gas security of supply for Ireland and the EU subsidies being cut, to the time bomb of the world’s biggest stockpile of plutonium at Sellafield.

Further challenges, primarily for the UK, include the question of the UK accepting the European jurisdiction and the commitments lasting beyond Brexit until a catalogue of individual agreements is put in place with the UK as a third country.

For this survey, BBH and Shakespeare Martineau interviewed business leaders from across the UK and other EU Member States. The survey is available for download here.

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Source   Becker Büttner Held 2017

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