Northern Ireland news

No deal Brexit could trigger electricity shock for NI

NI could face an energy crisis if the UK crashes out of the EU without a withdrawal deal, according to reports
By Shaun Connolly, Press Association

NORTHERN Ireland could face an energy crisis if the is a `no deal Brexit' - with thousands of generators placed on barges in the Irish Sea to help keep the region going.

A leaked Whitehall document, seen by the Financial Times, states such a scenario could see the electricity generators being requisitioned short notice, in an emergency operation from places including Afghanistan, where the UK has a military presence.

The newspaper said the extreme situation could arise because Northern Ireland shares a single energy market with the Republic and relies on energy imports from the south because it does not have enough generating capacity itself.

The British government is aiming to negotiate a deal to allow that single electricity market on the island to continue post-EU withdrawal.

However, if no deal is agreed, Whitehall fears suppliers in the Republic could cut off power because the UK would no longer be part of the European electricity market.

In a bid to prevent blackouts in Northern Ireland, the paper reports a `worse case' situation requiring the government to commandeer some `thousands' of generators from the military in such a scenario.

An official told the newspaper the preparations were "gob-smacking".

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