Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change makes case for staying in the European Union

Published:  31 March, 2016

The Energy & Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd has set out why she thinks the UK is stronger, safer and better off staying in the European Union.

Ms Rudd spoke about why staying in is ‘vital’ for our long-term energy security as well as our economic security.

She referred to an independent report, commissioned by the National Grid, which stated that leaving the EU, and exiting the internal energy market, could cost consumers £500 million or more each year.

“The UK’s membership of the European Union has helped keep our energy bills down. If we left Europe’s internal energy market, we’d get a massive electric shock because the UK energy costs are likely to rocket by at least half a billion pounds a year – the equivalent of British bills going up by around one and a half million pounds each and every day,” she said.

Ms Rudd warned that the UK shouldn’t let its energy security be hijacked as a political pawn to bring Europe to its knees, and said that by working together in the EU each member state can stop this becoming a reality.

She also made the case for staying in the EU being important for investment and jobs, highlighting how in 2014, direct investment in UK utility projects from elsewhere in the EU amounted to some £45 billion.

“Being in the EU helps us attract billions and billions of pounds of investment in our energy system and supply chain. Taken together, this investment helps support 660,000 jobs in the UK’s energy sector. Does anybody really think all of that investment would continue if we left the EU, and with no extra costs?” said Ms Rudd.

“Why would we want to cause worry and hardship to hundreds of thousands of families in the UK who rely on our energy industry for their livelihoods?”

Ms Rudd went on to say that remaining in the EU is about our standing in the world and the impact we can have on global issues as an individual nation.

“With Putin on the prowl and Daesh sharpening their swords, our unity and our shared values – of free speech, democracy and equality – are more important than ever,” she said.

“Beyond these immediate dangers, there are longer term challenges that require us to work together to resolve. Take the recent climate change conference in Paris where 200 countries came together to sign the first global climate deal ever agreed. The global deal in Paris is in the UK’s interests, and frankly we wouldn’t have got it without being part of the EU.

“I firmly believe that within our position in the EU we can influence the great geopolitical challenges of the day – to make the world a safe place for Britain.”

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock/JMiks

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