John Redwood, Wokingham, Conservative:
I agree with the Secretary of State that we need more energy independence and more domestic energy, so why does the Bill propose a 140% increase in imported energy through interconnectors, which will make us more dependent and very vulnerable?
Grant Shapps, Minister of State for Energy Security and Net Zero:
My right hon. Friend makes an excellent comment, as ever, on interconnectors, but I would point out that with the growing number of interconnectors, particularly electricity interconnectors, last winter, for example, we were able to export 10 TW to France through interconnectors, providing us with income. The answer is that they work in both directions, and in some cases, they provide the reliability of, for example, France’s vast nuclear fleet of 56 reactors. When whose reactors were down last winter—because even nuclear power sometimes has to come offline—we have been able to export our power to France, and it has been a net export. Our mission is to secure the clean and inexpensive energy that Britain needs to prosper.