Irish PM says EU ‘mean what we say’ about not re-opening the withdrawal agreement (Guardian)
Ireland’s prime minister, Leo Varadkar, warned “we mean what we say” about not re-opening negotiations on the withdrawal agreement.
He clarified: “the withdrawal agreement won’t be re-opened, without a backstop there will be no transition period or implementation phase, but that we are willing to examine the joint political declaration and make amendments to that if that enables us to proceed to an orderly Brexit with a guarantee there will be no hard border between north and south, which is our shared objective.”
David Lidington, the UK’s minister for the Cabinet Office, indicated EU leaders would want to hear what Theresa May’s successor had to say, and the government’s position was still to leave with a deal.
Brexit ‘could leave UK short of energy’ (BBC)
Industry body GasNaturally told the BBC that EU member states could restrict gas exports to the UK during winter cold snaps in order to prioritise their own citizens.Almost 50% of gas consumed in the UK is imported via pipelines from Europe and approximately Some 39% of the UK’s electricity supply was generated from natural gas last year. Converting old exhausted North Sea gas fields into gas storage facilities could ease the problem.A no-deal scenario could pose an immediate risk to the UK, as the majority of the UK’s natural gas imports come via Norway, which is party of the Internal Energy Market, despite not being a member of the EU.