Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Long arm of European Court of Justice (ECJ) will continue to coral UK energy policy post Brexit

I was very surprized to read the view of experienced Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin that “there is no intrinsic reason why Brexit should be difficult or damaging.” ( “It’s a sad truth: on Brexit we just can’t trust the Treasury,” 9 October; )

As the current chair of parliament’s select committee on  public administration and constitutional affairs , which has investigated different  aspects of Brexit’s impact on our governance, he should  know better.


In Parliament on Monday, Mrs May  revealed that the European Court of Justice would continue to have jurisdiction in the UK over the period of  transition/implementation of the Brexit agreement, to predictable howls of  horror from ill-informed Brexiteers like Jacob Rees-Mogg. (“Brexit MPs angry as Theresa May accepts continuing rule of EU court,” 10 October;


However, a recent well –researched expert report demonstrates how the ECJ will remain the final arbiter in certain energy issues after Brexit, which a Brexit dept  paper itself does not appear to address, (although I am unsure whether this opaque sentence from the paper is meant to cover such eventualities: ."The UK will be bound by the agreements with the EU as a matter of international law, and will be subject to whatever international enforcement mechanisms the agreements contain."

In the analysis, released on 10 May by the international London-based think tank Chatham House, authored by Antony Froggatt and  Georgina Wright (supported by  Matthew Lockwood, a senior Research Fellow, Energy Policy Group  at the University of Exeter)  the authors  examine several areas  where the current UK energy integration with the  EU27 will prove complex, if not impossible to  disentangle, without significant energy security detriment to the UK.

The report’s authors argue that remaining fully integrated with the internal energy market (IEM) “would require the UK’s compliance with current and future EU energy market rules, as well with some EU environmental legislation.”

Without a willingness to abide by the jurisdiction of the ECJ, and in the absence of a new joint UK–EU compliance mechanism, “the UK may be required to leave the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) – an instrument in the UK’s and EU’s fight against climate change,” they conclude.

(Staying Connected: Key Elements for UK–EU27 Energy Cooperation After Brexit;


Very strong food for thought. 


No comments:

Post a Comment