As the Brexit vote approaches, what news, views and opinions are polarising debate? Here’s our latest digest on the key points.

Could Brexit harm UK energy policy?

As heavyweight contributions across the Brexit debate roll in, Chatham House has played its card. The respected thinktank says Brexit’s climate and energy implications may not have made front page news, but could define the UK’s long term sustainable future.

‘All five Brexit models would undermine the UK’s influence in international energy and climate diplomacy,’ says the thinktank. ‘A decision to leave the EU would make it easier for a future UK government to change direction on climate policy.

‘In the field of energy and climate change policy, remaining in the EU offers the best balance of policy options for Britain’s national interests: the UK would continue to benefit from the integrated energy market, while maintaining influence over its direction and minimising uncertainty for crucial investment,’ it concludes.

As we all know, opinion on Brexit is split. In Chatham House’s view, the danger is political mindgames could undermine solid environmental science, and damage the UK’s low carbon business, and CO2 mitigation future.

Wider Brexit opinions

Further reporting by Energy Efficiency Verification Specialists (EEVS) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) says Brexit would spike energy bills and the costs of energy saving tech.

Meanwhile, David Cameron has said: “EU membership underpins many crucial environmental protections in the UK, while amplifying our voice in the world on vital issues like cutting global emissions.”

“EU membership underpins many crucial environmental protections in the UK, while amplifying our voice in the world on vital issues like cutting global emissions.”

David Cameron

EDIE provides a useful overview of the various positions and scenarios among the green business lobby here. It asks: ‘Is the EU willing and able to accommodate our interests on the transition to the green economy? Does the UK’s future look ‘brighter’ outside of the EU?’

Brexit; the countdown

Euractiv offers a live page, constantly updated with news and views on Brexit as June 23 approaches, including a live estimate on polling feedback.

With only a couple of weeks to run, the latest polling shows the value of Sterling is sliding following one poll which put the Leave campaign ahead.

The Economist provides a sobering assessment on the economic ramifications of Brexit here. At this stage, it is nigh on impossible to draw any meaningful conclusion on which way voters will swing, but it is clear that the ramifications of a vote to leave will carry many years into the future.

What new environmental laws might a UK outside Brussels put in place? What economic impacts would Brexit have on UK businesses? What trade agreements could tarnish, damage or open up new markets? Does Britain even have the heavyweight trade negotiators to stand their ground with the likes of China or the US on trade, outside the EU?

And, would the EU act favourably in a renegotiation of terms post Brexit, or use the UK as an example to prevent others leaving, offering only the harshest of options? If one partner forces a divorce on another, does the rejected partner then react with a fair, kind offer on terms? Often the opposite is the case.

These are just some of the issues troubling business minds. Yet sadly, Brexit may come down to far less precise views, formed in the minds of voters via media channels larging on immigration and border control.

These aren’t largely the priorities of the business minded. But they could yet outdo business logic at the ballot box.

 

 

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