No-deal Brexit could see hike in elec­tric­ity prices

Bri­tons could also be barred from en­ter­tain­ment ac­counts in EU

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - NEWS POLITICS - KIERAN AN­DREWS kian­drews@the­courier.co.uk

Elec­tric­ity prices could rise if there is a no-deal Brexit, ac­cord­ing to UK Govern­ment pa­pers.

Twenty-nine tech­ni­cal pa­pers were re­leased by White­hall de­part­ments yes­ter­day in the fi­nal tranche of guid­ance on prepa­ra­tions for a no-deal Brexit. A to­tal of 104 such pa­pers have now been re­leased.

The Sin­gle Elec­tric­ity Mar­ket on the is­land of Ire­land may cease to op­er­ate, one of the doc­u­ments said, hit­ting con­sumers on both sides.

Brexit Sec­re­tary Do­minic Raab said the Sin­gle Elec­tric­ity Mar­ket was the prod­uct of bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion be­tween Lon­don and Dublin and he hoped this would con­tinue.

Even if it did not, he said the UK would be pre­pared.

Mr Raab said: “We have got in­ter­con­nec­tors and the reg­u­la­tory mea­sures that the govern­ment can take to make sure that North­ern Ire­land main­tains the en­ergy sup­ply it needs.”

The new guid­ance cov­ers ar­eas rang­ing from the reg­u­la­tion of pes­ti­cides, trad­ing in elec­tric­ity, rail trans­port and con­sumer rights.

One pa­per warned Bri­tons could be barred from ac­cess­ing their ac­counts for Net­flix, Spo­tify and other on­line en­ter­tain­ment while trav­el­ling to EU states. An­other said the UK ex­port trade in rough di­a­monds could be to­tally halted by a no-deal Brexit.

Michael Rus­sell, the Scot­tish Govern­ment’s Con­sti­tu­tional Re­la­tions Sec­re­tary, said: “Po­ten­tially higher elec­tric­ity prices, dif­fi­cul­ties re­cruit­ing front line staff for the NHS and other key sec­tors and dam­ag­ing dis­rup­tion to ex­ports will af­fect every­one in Scot­land, but will hit our ru­ral and coastal com­mu­ni­ties the hard­est.”

Labour’s shadow Brexit sec­re­tary Sir Keir Starmer said: “The govern­ment’s no-deal plan­ning won’t re­as­sure any­one. Min­is­ters have barely scratched the sur­face of what would need to be done in the event of the UK crash­ing out of the EU with­out a deal.”

The De­part­ment for In­ter­na­tional Trade said it is seek­ing to forge new bi­lat­eral deals with the 70 coun­tries cov­ered by EU trade agree­ments which will be “iden­ti­cal or sub­stan­tially the same” as the ar­range­ments which Bri­tain is giv­ing up.

How­ever, it warned com­pa­nies that even if such deals can be reached, there may be “prac­ti­cal changes” to the way trade takes place.

And it con­firmed that if these are not in place in time for a no-deal Brexit, ex­ports and im­ports to these coun­tries will be­come sub­ject to tar­iffs un­der World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tion rules.

Pic­ture: PA.

Higher elec­tric­ity prices could be on the cards if a Brexit deal is not reached, say new pa­pers.

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