SSE sets out Brexit priorities to Seanad Éireann

SSE Ireland has set out its top three Brexit priorities in evidence presented today to Seanad Éireann.

Stephen Wheeler, Managing Director of SSE Ireland, was appearing this morning before the Seanad Select Committee on the UK’s Withdrawal from the European Union.

Addressing the hearing Stephen Wheeler said that as Brexit proceeds, we should not lose sight of the overarching aims of ensuring fairly-priced energy for consumers and continued cost-effective investments in energy infrastructure to decarbonise Ireland’s economy and maintain security of supply.

Focussing on material issues affecting SSE’s customers, its business and its employees across the island of Ireland, Stephen Wheeler said it was important that three energy priorities were to the fore in the Brexit process.

“Our industry is subject to a range of EU rules and regulations, many of which have wider application than the energy sector. At this stage, none of us know exactly how the negotiations will outturn. With this in mind, we argue that three principles should be prioritised in the exit negotiations: the Single Electricity Market on the island of Ireland should be maintained and the Integrated Single Electricity Market Project should be completed; the flows of electricity and gas between countries through interconnection should continue to support energy security; and Ireland must recommit to meeting its energy challenges and thereby provide policy certainty to investors. Brexit shouldn’t subsume all focus in these upcoming, crucial years,” Stephen Wheeler commented.

SSE is the largest company by market capitalisation in the FTSE 100 whose revenues are derived solely from the UK and Ireland, and as such is invested in the UK and Ireland continuing a collaborative and cooperative relationship after the UK formally leaves the EU.

“Irrespective of the wider UK-EU relationship, as physically networked industries that are vital to the functioning of our economies and communities across the UK and EU, it makes sense for the UK and the EU to retain closely-linked electricity and gas markets and wider energy cooperation.

 “SSE did not take a position on the EU referendum prior to the vote, believing it to be a matter for the people of the UK. We do believe, however, that it is important to gather stakeholder views and perspectives on the Brexit process. In that respect we welcome today’s session and the Brexit Civic Dialogue on Energy held by Minister Naughten in February.”

You can read the full transcript of Stephen Wheeler’s address here.