Amber Rudd, the UK Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, has strongly supported the UK staying in the EU citing various benefits of it staying in the Union.
Rudd delivered a speech at the electricity interconnector site in Kent, ahead of the announced referendum on the UK exiting the EU set to take place on June 23 this year, citing the results of an independent National Grid-commissioned assessment into the effects of UK potentially leaving the Internal Energy Market (IEM).
Rudd said: “The UK’s membership of the European Union helps keep our energy bills down. If we left the internal market, we’d get a massive electric shock because UK energy costs could rocket by at least half a billion pounds a year – the equivalent of peoples’ bills going up by around one and a half million pounds each and every day.”
The Energy Secretary also emphasized the risk of higher investment costs for UK energy infrastructure as a result of the uncertainty Brexit would bring, citing on the estimates from the report.
“This isn’t just an energy issue. Almost half of all foreign investment in Britain comes from the EU. 100,000 British businesses export to the EU. 3.3 million jobs are linked to trade with other EU countries.
“Yes, we are the 5th largest economy in the world – something we should be proud of – but our economy is stronger because we are in Europe.
“In 2014, direct investment in UK utility projects from elsewhere in the EU amounted to some £45 billion. We win a third of all the EU’s renewable energy investment. And this investment creates jobs.”
Rudd pointed out that being in the EU helps UK attract billions of pounds of investment in its energy system and supply chain, and that, when taken together, those investment help support 660,000 jobs in the UK’s energy sector.
“Leaving the EU would put all this investment at risk,” Rudd continued.
Also, by staying in the EU and the IEM, Rudd said, the UK gets a say over its shape: “This (leaving the IEM market) would be giving away power, not getting it back. I don’t know about you, but the prospect of being an EU rule taker, but not an EU rule maker, has no attraction whatsoever.”
Finalizing her speech, Rudd restated her belief that the UK will be stronger, safer and better off as a member of the EU than out on its own.
“My judgement is clear. In the EU, our future is stronger and more secure, and our families and businesses are better off. My answer is this. We choose in. We remain. We stay,” concluded Rudd.