Ex-Brexit minister Lord Frost warns UK could end up RATIONING energy

Ex-Brexit minister Lord Frost warns UK could end up RATIONING energy

April 13, 2022

‘What happens when the wind doesn’t blow?’: Ex Brexit minister Lord Frost warns Boris’s plan to ramp up building of wind turbines across UK could see Britain RATIONING energy if the weather isn’t right

  • Former Cabinet minister Lord Frost tears into the PM’s energy security strategy
  • He questions how homes will be powered ‘when the wind doesn’t blow’
  • The ex-Brexit chief warns the UK ‘will end up with rationing’ under current plans

Boris Johnson’s former Brexit chief has warned Britons could face the rationing of energy under the government’s current plans to reach net-zero by 2050.

Lord Frost tore into the Prime Minister’s energy security strategy, published last week, which put offshore wind and nuclear power at the centre of UK energy policy.

The former Cabinet minister, who oversaw Brexit negotiations with the EU, warned the document failed to take account of how homes and businesses would be powered ‘when the wind doesn’t blow’.

Ministers drew up the new energy strategy in response to the cost-of-living crisis and Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, with the PM leading efforts to wean Western nations off Russian supplies of oil and gas.

Mr Johnson resisted pressure from Conservative MPs to use the energy paper to order a resumption of fracking in the UK to extract shale gas – although ministers have asked for a scientific review of a 2019 ban.

Former Brexit minister Lord Frost said the PM’s plans failed to take account of how homes and businesses would be powered ‘when the wind doesn’t blow’

Lord Frost, who was among Tories to call for the return of fracking, said he ‘wasn’t massively convinced’ that the energy security strategy ‘really changed anything much’.

‘I think it doesn’t deal with the problem that, it’s all very well to build a lot of wind power but it needs back-up by other power for when the wind doesn’t blow,’ he told LBC radio.

‘I didn’t see that problem really addressed in the security paper.

‘My worry is the government is on a plan where it’s not engaging with the trade-offs.

‘It won’t be possible to deliver net-zero on the timetable they want and we will end up with rationing and behavioural change.

‘I think that will be an extremely bad outcome. I don’t think the British people will put up with it.’

The energy security strategy, published last week, put wind and nuclear power at the centre of UK energy policy

The PM drew up the new energy strategy in response to the cost-of-living crisis and Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine

Britons infamously suffered energy rationing in the early 1970s when Ted Heath’s Conservative government introduced a three-day week to help conserve electricity amid a miners’ strike and a global oil crisis.

Pressed on his prediction that energy rationing could return for Britons under current plans, Lord Frost added: ‘I think if we don’t have the right amount of power on the grid at some point in the next 10 years then obviously that is one of the things that could happen.

‘I noticed the government has said it would nationalise the grid managers in this paper last week, so government will have control over things it doesn’t have control over at the moment.

‘I think it’s really important we don’t go down that road.

‘I really worry that our current policy, by not investing in secure, reliable power i.e. gas over the next 10 years, risks taking us into that situation.

‘And I don’t think last week’s paper reassured me that we’ve got a grip on that.’

Ministers recently rejected suggestions they should be planning for energy rationing due to soaring global oil and gas prices.

Labour’s shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds earlier this month claimed Britain ‘should be making those plans’ and the government ‘should be preparing, not necessarily in public, for that situation’.

However, he almost immediately backtracked, later saying that rationing would be a ‘disaster for households and for businesses’. 

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