Could a British EU exit cause an energy price increase?

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd will say that leaving the EU will cause a massive increase in energy prices. She will be citing a report by the National Grid which outlined what would happen if the UK was to leave the EU and loose access to the Internal Energy Market (IEM).

Ms Rudd is a prominent ‘in’ campaigner and her critics say that she is using scare tactics to encourage people to vote to stay in the EU. However, she will say that an exit from the EU will leave the UK open to pricing manipulations from countries such as Russia, who use their gas supply as a form of foreign policy. When Russia is negotiating with the EU they are negotiating with a block of 500 million people, as appose to the 64 million people in the UK, which gives the EU a lot more influence during negotiations.

Although the UK does not currently rely on Russian gas, the Energy Secretary will state that over the coming decades, it is impossible to tell if we will start to rely on gas imported from Russia.

The report published by the national Grid also states that the UK energy industry will be a lot less attractive for investment. The Energy Secretary will say that this will put hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk in the industry as investment shrinks over the coming years.

Leave campaigners say that the claims are ‘absurd’ and that it’s pure scaremongering by the energy secretary. They point to the section of the report by the National Grid  which states that if the UK was to leave the EU and still be aloud access to the IEM then the impact would be minimal. The report also claims that the short term affects on gas prices would be minimal, as the UK’s gas imports are extremely diverse.