Power cuts feared if no deal struck ‘De­vel­op­ments’ pre­dicted by Dodds

Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - NEWS - BY SAM LIS­TER FITZ­MAU­RICE MAU­RICE

NORTH­ERN Ire­land faces the threat of power black­outs if the UK crashes out of the Euro­pean Union with­out a deal.

Laws which un­der­pin the trade of elec­tric­ity with the Repub­lic would dis­ap­pear, doc­u­ments re­leased by the Brexit depart­ment have re­vealed.

The threat came as DUP leader Ar­lene Fos­ter met with party mem­bers to dis­cuss the lat­est stage of Brexit talks.

Ne­go­tia­tors are try­ing to se­cure an agree­ment with Brus­sels that the cur­rent sin­gle elec­tric­ity mar­ket would re­main in­tact even if exit talks col­lapse.

But the Gov­ern­ment warned if the pledge was not se­cured, cus­tomers on both sides of the bor­der could be hit.

Co-ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor at the Bri­tish Cham­bers of Com­merce Han­nah Es­sex

DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds has pre­dicted “de­vel­op­ments” in the Gov­ern­ment’s Brexit po­si­tion over the week­end.

The UK has sug­gested a tem­po­rary cus­toms ar­range­ment with the ex­pec­ta­tion a per­ma­nent deal would be in place by the end of 2021, a plan crit­i­cised said: “There will be ma­jor con­cerns that, with­out a deal, the mar­ket for elec­tric­ity will be dis­rupted.

“Busi­nesses will wel­come the Gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment to main­tain­ing con­ti­nu­ity in any Brexit out­come.

“How­ever, it will be on the minds of firms un­til a for­mal so­lu­tion is agreed – par­tic­u­larly in North­ern Ire­land – given the sin­gle elec­tric­ity mar­ket on the is­land of Ire­land.” The lat­est batch of by the EU. Mr Dodds said yes­ter­day there could be move­ment this week­end but the party would “re­main fo­cused on the pri­or­i­ties for North­ern Ire­land”. DUP mem­bers tech­ni­cal pa­pers re­leased by the Gov­ern­ment to help res­i­dents and busi­nesses pre­pare for the pos­si­bil­ity of no deal claimed there was a “risk” the sin­gle elec­tric­ity mar­ket “may not be able to con­tinue”.

If that hap­pens en­ergy watch­dog the North­ern

Ire­land Util­ity Reg­u­la­tor will

“take ac­tion to seek to en­sure were briefed in Por­ta­d­own, Co Ar­magh, af­ter leader Ar­lene Fos­ter met EU chief ne­go­tia­tor Michel Barnier in Brus­sels ear­lier this week.

She said: “It is very im­por­tant for us we keep the con­sti­tu­tional in­tegrity of the UK con­tin­ued se­cu­rity of sup­ply and mar­ket sta­bil­ity”.

Lib­eral Demo­crat MP Layla Moran, who backs the Best For Bri­tain an­tibrexit cam­paign, said: “The truth, al­beit hid­den by civil ser­vice an­o­dyne lan­guage, is clear – a no-deal Brexit could spark black­outs in North­ern Ire­land and higher bills for ev­ery­one else.”

North­ern Ire­land Re­tail Con­sor­tium di­rec­tor Aod­han Con­nolly added it “only serves to show how costly a no-deal Brexit would be for North­ern Ire­land busi­ness and the hard pressed North­ern Ire­land con­sumer”.

He said: “Fur­ther lev­els of red tape will mean futher costs which re­tail­ers sim­ply can­not ab­sorb.” but also the eco­nomic in­tegrity and that is the point we have been mak­ing in Brus­sels, and in­deed for Nigel and his team in Lon­don as well.”

DUP Brexit spokesman Sammy Wil­son urged Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May: “Go with your prin­ci­ples, go with your in­stinct, go with your re­spon­si­bil­ity to the peo­ple of the UK and show the EU ne­go­tia­tors the door.”

NEIGH BOTHER HAY Fan in Vi­enna be­fore last night’s MATCH DAY Dean and Rachel Mc­mona­gle FAN-TASTIC North­ern Ire­land sup­port­ers en­joy Vi­enna


SUP­PLY Elec­tric­ity flows across the bor­der

UP­DATE DUP chief Ar­lene Fos­ter

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