Gas (Supply and Demand)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:51 pm on 14th March 2006.

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Photo of Alan Johnson Alan Johnson Secretary of State for Trade and Industry 3:51 pm, 14th March 2006

The specific remedies will be, first, transparency, with everyone being absolutely open about the energy supplies that exist in the European Union. That is a big issue for the EU. Germany imports about 41 per cent. of its gas from Russia and is extremely worried about being over-dependent on Russia. There is an urgent need for the European Union to look at its own resources. Secondly, although other member states were due to liberalise seven or eight years ago when the directive went through, that has not happened. Policy has not been put into practice. That needs to happen, which is why Neelie Kroes is looking at anti-trust measures that should be adopted to galvanise the situation. On the time scale, we expect anti-trust measures to be taken within weeks, as I said earlier. Beyond that I am not sure, but we are seeing a level of activity in the Commission that we have not seen for many years.