Speaking to workers at an energy interconnector site in Kent, Rudd explained why she believes staying in the European Union is vital for UK long-term energy and economic security
She referred to an independent report, commissioned by the National Grid, which finds that leaving the EU, and exiting the internal energy market, could cost consumers £500 million or more each year.
Rudd said: “The UK’s membership of the European Union has helped keep our energy bills down.
“If we left Europe’s internal energy market, we’d get a massive electric shock because the UK energy costs are likely to rocket by at least half a billion pounds a year – the equivalent of British bills going up by around one and a half million pounds each and every day.
“We have seen how countries such as Putin’s Russia use their gas supplies as a tool of foreign policy. Threatening to cut off supplies or drastically increase prices.
“We can’t let our energy security be hijacked as a political pawn to bring Europe to its knees. By working together in the European Union each member state can stop this becoming a reality.”
Making the case for staying in the EU is important for investment and jobs, she highlighted how in 2014, direct investment in UK utility projects from elsewhere in the EU amounted to some £45 billion.
She added: “Being in the EU helps us attract billions and billions of pounds of investment in our energy system and supply chain. Taken together, this investment helps support 660,000 jobs in the UK’s energy sector. Does anybody really think all of that investment would continue if we left the EU, and with no extra costs?
“The global deal in Paris is in the UK’s interests, and frankly we wouldn’t have got it without being part of the EU.
I firmly believe that within our position in the EU we can influence the great geopolitical challenges of the day – to make the world a safe place for Britain.
“And let’s be clear, the deal in Paris is not just about our national security, it’s also about our economic security.”
See also Scottish Energy News Policy Platform:
British exit from EU would be bad for UK renewable energy business
As with Scotland’s Independence Referendum, Scottish-UK-Energy News is keen to reflect debate. But businesses should always bear in mind that it is the people who do the voting. To share your views on the Scottish Energy News Policy Platform, email: Editor@ScottishEnergyNews.com