Tuesday 17 January 2017

Energy can’t be allowed to suffer in May’s Brexit

Energy can’t be allowed to suffer in May’s Brexit

Theresa May has named energy as one of the key areas in Brexit negotiations as we leave the Single Market.

Outlining her Brexit plan which confirms the UK is to leave the Single Market, seek a customs agreement, maintain tariff free trade and guarantee citizens rights, she warned that EU members seeking to punish Britain would be harming themselves and key sectors.

She said:"That would be an act of calamitous self-harm for the countries of Europe. And it would not be the act of a friend. No deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain.

"Because we would still be able to trade with Europe. We would be free to strike trade deals across the world. And we would have the freedom to set the competitive tax rates and embrace the policies that would attract the world’s best companies and biggest investors to Britain. But for the EU, it would mean new barriers to trade with one of the biggest economies in the world.

She added: "Important sectors of the EU economy would also suffer. We are a crucial – profitable – export market for Europe’s automotive industry, as well as sectors including energy, food and drink, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and agriculture. These sectors employ millions of people around Europe."

But the Prime Minister believed a compromise would be achieved: "For all these reasons – and because of our shared values and the spirit of goodwill that exists on both sides – I am confident that we will follow a better path. I am confident that a positive agreement can be reached."

Residency rights

Mrs May also addressed the key issue of staff working for international firms such as the major energy players.

"We want to guarantee the rights of EU citizens who are already living in Britain and the rights of British nationals in other member states as early as we can. I've told other EU leaders we could give people the certainty they want staight away and reach such a deal now. Many of them favour such and agreement one or two others do not.

"But it remains an important priority for Britain to resolve this challenge straight away."

Clean energy

Clean energy was also mentioned in her speech as an area where key innovation and scientific co-operation with the EU should continue.

"We will also welcome agreement to continue to collaborate with our European partners on major science, research, and technology initiatives. From space exploration to clean energy to medical technologies, Britain will remain at the forefront of collective endeavours to better understand, and make better, the world in which we live."

The PM also confirmed that Parliament will get a final vote on the Brexit plan. You can read her entire speech here.

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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