London, Oct 12, 2018 (AFP)
The UK government warned on Friday that Northern Ireland could face electricity supply disruptions should Britain leave the European Union in March without a deal.
The new batch of worst-case-scenario notices also suggested Britons might lose access to Netflix when travelling in Europe and hinted at problems with Eurostar trains.
All these issues should be avoided if London and Brussels strike a deal over the coming weeks about the terms on which Britain will leave the bloc on March 29.
But the government said a no-deal scenario would mean that existing electricity supply regulations covering British-ruled Northern Ireland would no longer apply.
The North is part of the same energy market as EU member Ireland and its power grid operates independently from mainland Britain's.
"The EU rules will cease to apply in Northern Ireland, leaving key elements of the Single Electricity Market -- trading with Great Britain and cross-border governance arrangements -- without any legal basis," the British government said.
All parties would then need to scramble to come up with new terms for trading electricity that abide by existing rules.
A failure to find a solution could have "potential effects for producers and consumers on both sides of the border", the British warning said.
The Irish Times earlier quoted sources as saying customers and businesses could face price increases of up to 34 percent over the long term.
The government's warning on Netflix and Spotify comes because a no-deal divorce cuts Britain off from the "digital single market" between EU countries.
Britons would theoretically lose access to various streaming services in Europe because they cannot discriminate based on a customer's nationality under EU rules.
Problems with Eurostar might arise because UK licenses issued "to operators currently operating in the EU would not remain valid in the EU".
Britain proposes extending existing arrangements until March 2021 to provide time for operators to make new arrangements.
Some of the new warnings also covered rough diamonds -- international trade would be halted until the UK agrees a new certification scheme -- and even waste.
Britain is already mostly barred from dumping its refuse on Europe and the notice said the impact from the additional regulations would be small.
The government also told overseas territories they "could lose future funding for existing projects under EU programmes".
Sumber : AFP