Thank God we left EU crumbles to Putins threats as new energy plan complete fiction

Putin 'continues to use energy as a weapon' says Von der Leyen

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Leigh Evans, chairman of the Campaign for an Independent Britain (CIBUK) said the disparity vindicated the UK’s decision to quit the bloc – and described the concept of a common EU energy policy as “completely fictitious”. The revelations come after European Union countries, bracing themselves for further cuts in Russian gas supplies, yesterday approved a weakened emergency plan to curb demand, after striking compromise deals to limit reductions for some countries.

In response, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted: “I strongly welcome the endorsement by Council of the regulation to reduce gas demand and prepare for the winter.

“It is a decisive step to face down the threat of a full gas disruption.

“Thanks to today’s decision, Europe is now ready to address its energy security, as a Union.”

Europe faces a tighter gas squeeze from today, when state-controlled Russian energy giant Gazprom has said it would cut flows through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany to a fifth of capacity.

However, figures in CIBUK’s report, lifted from Eurostat, the bloc’s own statistics division, indicate significant inequalities in terms of the amount of power consumed.

Specifically, Germany (21.2 percent), France (16.9 percent) and Italy (10.7 percent) together consume 48.8 percent of the EU’s overall gigawatt hours.

Add in Spain (8.5 percent), Poland (7.8 percent) and the Netherlands (4.7 percent) and the figure rises to 69.8 percent.

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Mr Evans told Express.co.uk: “Thank goodness the United Kingdom left the European Union when it did.

“We’ve avoided even the compromised mish-mash of energy cuts the EU agreed yesterday.

“The attempts by the EU to present some kind of ‘united position’ yesterday are completely fictitious. There is no common policy.

“Indeed it would be surprising if there were, given the disparity of energy supplies and usage across a bloc that contains countries with completely different characteristics.

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“Instead we’ve been presented with a statement by Ursula von der Leyen which is wholly disingenuous, to say the least.”

Mr Evans predicted the list of countries signing up fully to this latest agreement would be shorter than the list of countries with “opt-outs, derogations, exemptions, special measures and caveats”.

He added: “On a positive note, what happened yesterday was akin to a Brussels blackout – a refusal by EU countries to take the orders of an unelected EU Commission on their energy usage. And as for EU unity? Er… no.

“Gas is just one component in electricity generation across the EU. Now it seems inevitable that CO2-generating coal-fired power stations will have to be powered up, making a nonsense of the EU Commission’s number one priority – its ‘Green Deal’.

“Germany should reverse the closures of its nuclear power stations which were initiated for political reasons by Angela Merkel.

“This alone would take the stress off so many EU countries who have been asked to make sacrifices.

“In any event, it looks probable there’s a long, cold winter ahead for the EU.”

A statement issued by the European Council yesterday said: “In an effort to increase EU security of energy supply, member states today reached a political agreement on a voluntary reduction of natural gas demand by 15 percent this winter. The Council regulation also foresees the possibility to trigger a ‘Union alert’ on security of supply, in which case the gas demand reduction would become mandatory.”

However, crucially, it adds: “Whereas all EU countries will use their best efforts to meet the reductions, the Council specified some exemptions and possibilities to request a derogation from the mandatory reduction target, in order to reflect the particular situations of member states and ensure that the gas reductions are effective in increasing security of supply in the EU.”

Physical flows and requests for Russian natural gas flows through Nord Stream 1 into Germany fell on Wednesday morning after Gazprom further cut capacity of the pipeline that provides more than a third of Russian gas exports to the European Union.

Gazprom has said flows will fall to 33 million cubic metres per day, a fifth of the normal capacity, from Wednesday because it needed to halt the operation of a gas turbine at a compressor station on instructions from an industry watchdog.

Eastbound gas flows via the Yamal-Europe pipeline to Poland from Germany also declined on Wednesday morning, data from pipeline operator Gascade showed.

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