George Freeman urges that energy security and reduced dependence on Russian gas should be key drivers of energy policy

George Freeman urges that energy security and reduced dependence on Russian gas should be key drivers of energy policy.

George Freeman (Mid Norfolk) (Con): I welcome my right hon. Friend’s statement and his continued diplomatic success at EU Councils, which suggests that his leadership of the EU reform agenda is strengthening the UK’s hand, while our reliance on economic sanctions makes that drive for a more competitive Europe all the more important. I also welcome the steps to reduce our energy dependence on Russia. Does he agree that UK geopolitical energy security should now be the No. 1 feature of our energy policy for the next Parliament?

The Prime Minister: My hon. Friend makes the important point that in looking at considerations within energy policy—security of supply, making sure that there is capacity, contributing to the decline in carbon emissions, and national security—there is no doubt that the national security part of the picture for Britain and for Europe has become a much more pressing issue. We have good, diverse supplies of electricity; we are reinvesting in nuclear; we have the world’s leading offshore wind industry, which I saw for myself in Hull yesterday; but we obviously need to help Europe to diversify away from Russian gas, and we should recognise our strategic interests in helping it to do just that.

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