I have before explained how, far from saving or creating 3 million jobs, EU policies are destroying jobs we have and stopping new ones we might get. I have just received a copy of an excellent document from Business for Britain which catalogues one of the main job destroyers from the EU, its energy policy.
In “Energy Policy and the EU” they estimate that “high EU energy costs threaten up to 1.5 million jobs in the energy intensive sector alone, with 336,000 of these jobs being at high risk.” They calculate that EU energy regulations have so far burdened the UK economy with around £90 billion of extra cost.
They accept that some home grown policies have also made energy dearer, but they attribute substantial extra costs on prices to EU policies. Medium sized industrial consumers in the EU pay about 20% more for electricity than competitors in China, 65% more than India, and more than twice as much as companies in the USA and Russia. The EU also makes it more difficult for us to exploit home reserves of shale which has done so much to cheapen energy in the USA. This means we have less industry, and have witnessed substantial closures of energy intensive businesses in recent years.
Amongst the casualties so far we can mention the aluminium smelter at Lynemouth, various steel plants and blast furnaces, 22 chemical plants, (since 2009), along with paper, ceramics, glass and other high energy using facilities. The booklet also lists the 9 power stations forced to close by an EU Directive, giving us dearer electricity and taking us closer to having insufficient capacity for our needs.
Those who like our current membership of the EU tell us the UK has influence and that the EU can help win us more jobs. Why then can’t they get the EU to stop its dangerous job destroying energy policies? Will they accept that there are many industrial jobs at risk? The irony is that the EU is neither cutting its carbon output overall nor promoting industry.
It looks like a other example of an important policy area where the UK would be better off making our own decisions, putting jobs before EU iedology.