Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

EU to take control over Britain's energy policy

Dr Lee Rotherham


The proposed treaty will give the EU power for the first time over the whole field of energy and Britain’s oil and gas reserves.
The UK’s oil industry produces £5 billion in taxes and has about 265,000 employees. But this could all be threatened by the revived and renamed EU Constitution.

Under the new Article 176a in the Reform Treaty the European Union will take control over energy policy and usage. This will be introduced under Qualified Majority Voting, meaning that Britain will not be able to veto damaging EU laws, nor protect the North Sea reserves.

The implications of this will be enormous. Article 176a reads;

    1. In the context of the establishment and functioning of the internal market and with regard for the need to preserve and improve the environment, Union policy on energy shall aim, in a spirit of solidarity between Member States, to:
    (a) ensure the functioning of the energy market;
    (This will hand Brussels the power to decide, where and how the oil and gas are sold)

    (b) ensure security of energy supply in the Union, and
    (This could mean that the UK must supply energy to another member-state if they are having problems with their network)

    (c) promote energy efficiency and energy saving and the development of new and renewable forms of energy;
    (This will make the debate in Britain about how energy is produced irrelevant because Brussels will be making those decisions)

    (d) promote the interconnection of energy networks.
    (This will give the EU a key role as the system guarantor and thus threatening British control over the North Sea reserves)

Brussels will also be able to decide issues relating to the taxation of the reserves without Britain’s Parliament having a say.

EU involvement in this area is especially worrying because the looming and renamed EU Constitution also adds another clause on energy, Article 100(1), which will force Britain to share its reserves in a time of crisis.

After concerns were raised by the oil and gas industry about the implications of Article 100(1) the proposal mentioning energy was removed from the final text of the then EU Constitution. Now, however, by slight-of-hand it has found its way back into the text of the Reform Treaty. In this respect the so-called Reform Treaty will pose more of a threat to Britain’s energy reserves than the original text of the EU Constitution.

Dr Lee Rotherham

Dr Lee Rotherham says;
“Tony Blair told laughed off warnings of the threat in the EU Constitution to North Sea oil and our independent energy supply. But now we see that was just more of the old bluster.

“Huge questions remain in the Constitution as to what we are signing up to. With a shaky Middle East and a pipeline from an unfriendly Russia, we can’t afford any doubt that our energy policy is secure.

“The last thing Britain wants is to share with the EU our oil and their power cuts.”


EU to take control over Britain's energy policy 2

An EU-wide National Service programme will be established by the Reform Treaty.
Article 188j (5) will give the EU the power to create a peace corps in support of the EU’s international aims and objectives. The role of the volunteers will be governed by Qualified Majority Voting meaning that Britain will not be able to veto any activities.

This will establish a youth movement that will stretch across the EU and be used by Brussels as a propaganda tool to create a sense of common EU identity amongst the young. It is something the European Union has been pushing for some time using “Youth” (B3 budget line) programmes, but now is intended to be much more high profile, and better funded. Making it a European version of the US Peace Corps, which was entertainingly sent up in the film Volunteers with Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson and John Candy.

The EU’s plans could make the Conservatives proposals for a National Citizen Service programme redundant.

Dr Lee Rotherham says
“Taking a year out to help the Third World is a laudable objective. What’s sickening is this attempt to politicise such a noble aim, by wrapping it in the flag of EU ideology in order to make students think of themselves as EU citizens. It's nothing less than hijacking a noble cause.”

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