The Government's three point strategy to address high gas prices is:
1. to work to for greater market liberalisation in Europe
2. to work for improvements in the British gas market
3. to take action against any anti-competitive activity.
We shall monitor the market regularly to see how effective this strategy has been in enabling British consumers to access gas at competitive prices without damaging price spikes.
There has already been good progress with the strategy. The publication in March by the EU Commission of a revised draft Gas Directive was a positive step towards greater European liberalisation. On
Interconnector (UK) Ltd. now publishes details of flows with a one day lag instead of the previous six week delay. We have also been working with IUK and interconnector shippers on improvements to interconnector governance and marketing arrangements. I understand that the European Commission's competition inquiry into the operation of the interconnector, which was instituted at the request of the Government, is now in its final stages.
However, I should warn against expectations of immediate success as this strategy is liable to be a lengthy process.