No-deal Brexit '˜could cause NI blackouts'
A no-deal Brexit may lead to Northern Ireland electricity blackouts, government officials have warned.
Officials have been preparing a report on how a ‘no deal’ scenario could impact on the all-island Single Electricity Market (SEM).
They have suggested there is a possibility of price increases and shortages of supply.
UK officials suggest that a no-deal Brexit could see the SEM, at best, continue but be at risk, the BBC reported.
They even raise an alternative possibility that it could split “leaving an insecure, isolated NI market”.
And that could sin turn see NI bills rise by up to 34%, lead to blackouts and prompt government intervention.
Keeping the SEM operating “in any way possible” is described as a priority, officials say.
Even if there is no withdrawal deal, the government could seek a special deal with the Republic of Ireland and the EU to keep the SEM operating.
But they warned that such a deal would not fully mitigate the legal risks to the SEM.
It is understood that a formal “no deal notice” on the SEM will be published in the next few weeks.
The Department for Exiting the EU responded that said the government does not comment on leaks.