October 12, 2018 / 12:30 PM / a month ago

UK no-deal Brexit paper warns of complications for power imports

Electricity pylons are seen in London, Britain August 1, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain has warned operators of electrical power links with Europe that they will need to set up alternative trading arrangements if the country leaves the European Union next year with no exit deal.

The United Kingdom imports around 6 percent of its electricity via power links with France, the Netherlands and Ireland but plans to build several more.

Companies operating electricity interconnectors, which include Britain’s National Grid (NG.L) and French grid operator RTE, should “carry out contingency planning for a ‘no deal’ scenario”, a government paper said.

In the event of no deal on Britain’s EU exit, European energy law will no longer apply to the UK electricity market.

The paper said the government and energy regulator Ofgem were working with interconnector operators “to ensure new access rules are approved in Great Britain and are providing support to interconnectors engaging with EU Member State authorities”.

Britain has issued a series of papers outlining the implications of a no-deal Brexit for a range of sectors.

The British government wants to increase power supply options, such as new interconnectors, as old domestic coal and nuclear plants close from the mid-2020s.

However, Norway’s state-owned grid operator Statnett [STASF.UL] warned earlier this year that Brexit could hamper new projects, including two planned links with Norway.

A separate paper said gas trading between Britain and Europe was not expected to change significantly in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Reporting by Susanna Twidale; Editing by Mark Potter and Dale Hudson

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