'Hard Brexit will damage Hull and East Yorkshire's growing green energy industry', new study finds
Workers at Siemens' Hull factory
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 22 Aug 2017
The area's green energy economy will be threatened by a hard Brexit, according to a new study.
The study by northern think tank IPPR North suggests Yorkshire and the Humber will be an area particularly affected due to significant recent investment in green energy in the region.
It claims EU funding has helped to benefit research funding in the north of England in spite of government bias towards the South and London in their study, ‘The Impact of Brexit on Energy in the North of England’.
Research funding has significantly increased in East Yorkshire, with the Siemens Gamesa, Green Port Hull and the Hornsea Project One wind farm at the front of the North’s green energy growth.
IPPR North says a hard Brexit will threaten the northern energy sector, energy security and stable fuel prices.
The study said the impact of leaving the EU will have a significant impact on energy policy, particularly in Yorkshire and the Humber.
It states the region has some of the highest domestic CO2 emissions per head in the country.
Therefore, they state that replicating or remaining within EU schemes is key because homes in the area could be negatively affected “more than many other regions”, if the UK fails to meet CO2 reduction targets.
They described a hard Brexit as including no deal on the energy trade, full withdrawal from Euratom membership and withdrawal from participation in pan-European energy research programmes.
IPPR North suggests a harder Brexit, and leaving Euratom, would mean the UK will have to develop its new highly complex regulatory system. Euratom includes vital agreements on radioactive waste, nuclear fusion and the distribution and supply of nuclear materials.
IPPR analysis of a breakdown of EU funding for scientific research showed the North of England accounts for 45 per cent of the UK’s share of renewable energy research funding, more than any other region.
The study adds the ending of free movement risks seeing certain highly skilled and high in demand employees, such as nuclear scientists, leave the country.
Ed Cox, director of IPPR North, said: “On energy alone, the Government’s industrial strategy will need to go from being a mere summary of current policy interventions undertaken by the Government in the economy, to one of the most detailed and interventionist plans for a modern economy in the world, if it is to replace Euratom and the decades’ worth of expertise and programmes developed through pan-European co-operation.
“As the Government has repeatedly said, leaving the EU does not mean leaving Europe, and if it looks as though Brexiteers can’t deliver on their promises, we must continue to have the closest possible relationship with our nearest neighbours on energy.”