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    UK Lords Quiz Minister on post-Brexit Carbon Price

Summary

Having interviewed Claire Perry February 27, a House of Lords committee seeks some clarifications.

by: William Powell

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UK Lords Quiz Minister on post-Brexit Carbon Price

The UK upper house of parliament has quizzed energy minister Claire Perry on how the carbon market might work post-Brexit. The EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee interviewed her February 27 and have now posed supplementary questions or requested fuller answers than those she gave.

Perry was asked to provide an update on the government’s plan for replacing the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) after Brexit, to help ensure the UK continues to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

The March 13 letter addresses both a ‘deal’ scenario, in which the UK establishes a domestic ETS and seeks to link it to the EU ETS, and a ‘no deal’ scenario, in which the government intends to implement a carbon emissions tax. Some of the questions the committee asked are:

  • Whether the EU-Switzerland linking arrangements are a good model for the UK;
  • Whether the UK would stay part of the EU ETS if the transition period extends past 2020;
  • How the rate of the carbon emissions tax would be set; and
  • What the tax would mean for the single electricity market on the island of Ireland and the UK’s carbon budgets.

Under UK law, Brexit is due to happen at the end of the month, following the 2016 referendum; but most members of parliament are either in favour of remaining in the European Union or leaving it on better terms than prime minister Theresa May was able to obtain.

Her authority was shattered when her 'improved' exit deal struck with the European Union did not survive a parliamentary vote March 12. A parliamentary vote on a no-deal exit is due later March 13; and if that is rejected, then there could be a delay to the original departure date of March 29. But that will require co-operation from her counterparts in the EU executive.