Lis Blunsdon of Orrick’s London Energy & Infrastructure team authored an opinion piece for Utility Week’s special report on what a Brexit would mean for utilities. In her column, “Leave or Stay, the U.K. is Connected to Europe When It Comes to Energy,” Lis pointed out that a Brexit would likely only minimally affect the regulatory regime governing the U.K. energy sector.
“As with any other commodity, the sale or trade of gas and electricity into Europe must be carried out under EU rules. If the energy industry wished to carry on as it is now after a Brexit, it is difficult to see how EU rules could be avoided,” Lis noted.
She added, “We do not yet know what the U.K.’s relationship with Europe would look like were the Leave vote to prevail. However, no matter how absolute the separation, the idea that we would be completely free to do as we please in areas such as state aid if this were to happen is at best an oversimplification.”
To read the full column, please click here [subscription required].
Lis also spoke to Law360 regarding the potential effect of a Brexit on cross-border energy projects and energy trading. “I can't think of [an] example where someone would be able to transport gas or electricity into the EU without complying with its rules,” Lis said.
The same goes for energy trading, she noted: “In terms of energy trading outside the U.K., it's difficult to see a scenario where we would be allowed to trade into Europe without complying with the EU rules.”
To read the full Law360 article, please click here.