UK energy: new government, new policies

By Catriona Scott 16 August 2016 16:18 GMT
The UK has a new government and a new energy department. These changes and other post-referendum developments are already affecting the gas market. (PA) The UK has a new government and a new energy department. These changes and other post-referendum developments are already affecting the gas market. (PA)

Within three weeks of its referendum on EU membership, Theresa May became the UK’s new prime minister. And within days of taking office, May carried out a significant reshuffle of departments and ministers. One of the biggest changes was the scrapping of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) as an independent department and its incorporation into the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS). These changes come at a challenging time for gas, and how the new government decides to move forward could have a significant impact on the short- and long-term outlook for the fuel in the UK.

Regarding the referendum, what deal the UK will obtain from the EU is still unknown, and May has yet to flesh out her plans. The other 27 member states have ruled out negotiations before the UK triggers Article 50 of the EU constitution to formally begin the process of leaving, which May has said will not happen this year. The terms the UK will seek in its new relationship with the EU are expected to be worked out over the rest of 2016.