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A possible no-deal Brexit and its implications for the BritNed cable

15-03-2019

On March 29, 2017, the United Kingdom announced its intention to leave the European Union. This means that, on March 29, 2019, at midnight Central European Time, the UK may leave the EU.

The United Kingdom and the European Union have not yet been able to reach an agreement about the withdrawal. If no withdrawal agreement comes into force before the deadline of March 29, and the UK does not delay the withdrawal, then only WTO rules will apply starting March 30. This will have implications for the electricity connection BritNed between the UK and the Netherlands. From that date, EU rules will no longer apply to this connection, the UK will be excluded from the day-ahead market coupling, and BritNed will connect the Netherlands to a third country. In that case, the last implicit day-ahead auction will take place on 29 March 2019.

If the withdrawal is delayed, the current situation will remain in place for the time being.

In order to ensure that, in the case of a no-deal Brexit, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom will still be able to trade electricity, BritNed will offer its day-ahead capacity explicitly to the market from 30 March 2019. In preparation for this scenario, BritNed has adjusted its BritNed Access Rules, and has submitted these for approval to the British and Dutch regulators, respectively the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) and the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM). These revised Access Rules will only come into force if the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement, and therefore no longer participates in the day-ahead market coupling.

In that case, ACM will approve these Access Rules by issuing a decision on the basis of an order in council (AmvB). This order will come into force on 30 March 2019. On that date, ACM will also publish its approval decision on its website. The approval of the Access Rules has been coordinated with Ofgem.