EU Referendum: Energy and Environment

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:58 pm on 12th July 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Barry Gardiner Barry Gardiner Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change 12:58 pm, 12th July 2016

I always try to look at the motion in front of me on the Order Paper and make a judgment on it when I see what it says. I have done so for the past 19 and a half years, and I suspect I shall probably do it for the next few years as well.

Even the Government-dominated Select Committee has warned that what it calls the “hiatus” in project developments could threaten the UK’s ability to meet its energy and climate security targets, so when the Department’s own figures show the need for £100 billion of investment by 2020 to make our electricity infrastructure fit for purpose, the Secretary of State really does have to explain where she believes that investment is going to come from, given that investor confidence in her Department is at an all-time low.

Before the Secretary of State does so, however, perhaps she will confirm whether she instructed her Department not to prepare in any way for a leave vote, as the Prime Minister apparently directed. If that is so, can she explain why, because that is what business leaders out there are asking? It seems incomprehensible to them that the Prime Minister took such a gigantic risk with their future—a risk that will increase their cost of capital and the cost of energy to bill payers, both corporate and domestic alike—yet made absolutely no preparations for what might happen when that risk went the wrong way.

The IIGCC—Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change—a group of institutional investors representing over €13 trillion in assets, said in the aftermath of the vote to leave that it had brought

“considerable uncertainty and market turmoil.”

That only goes to prove that the art of litotes is not yet dead!