“Generators on barges in the Irish Sea”


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No-Deal Brexit Fear-Checker, No. 3

Governments and operators on both sides of the border are committed to maintain the Single Electricity Market (SEM). This is also in keeping with the EU’s stated commitment to deliver competitive energy market and value to consumers, as its termination would be prejudicial not just to NI but to consumers in the ROI. Given the success of the SEM and the obligations of cross-border cooperation under the Belfast Agreement, there is no good reason not to expect it to continue.

Even when the I-SEM becomes operational, the prospect of eventual divergences in market regulations that would seriously distort the Irish market, causing the Irish Government to withdraw in the future, would still be remote.

As with other UK-EU electricity joint ventures, it is in the economic interests of all involved to maintain the SEM. As noted by Irish foreign minister and deputy prime minister Simon Coveney, it is important to keep the stories about generators on barges in context: the SEM is “one of the great North/South successes that all are determined to protect”.

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