Wind set to get caught in Brexit crossfire

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Richard Heap
January 25, 2016
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This content is from our archive. Some formatting or links may be broken.
Wind set to get caught in Brexit crossfire

The UK's prime minister David Cameron has a track record of mismanaging big votes.

It may sound strange to say this of a leader that has delivered his Conservative Party the largest share of the popular vote in two general elections, but hear us out. Labour did not provide much in the way of a credible alternative in either election.

However, when faced with a strong opposition as in the Scottish independence vote of 2014, he was far less assured.

And yes, Cameron did get the result he wanted in that Scottish devolution referendum, but it came after a panicky flurry of last-minute promises. This is what we have to look forward to when the UK votes on membership of the EU in either 2016 or 2017.

This is what makes the UK referendum on membership of the European Union such a high-stakes game for the wind sector.

If the UK votes to leave — the so-called ‘Brexit’ — it would free the country from EU renewable energy targets and mean that the UK government can make much deeper cuts to subsidies for wind and solar. It has already shown that it prefers nuclear and fracking to wind or solar, and has only offered conditional support to the offshore wind sector in which the UK is a global leader.

The result of a Brexit decision could be devastating for those working in the UK wind sector. The UK has its own climate change act, introduced in 2008, so it would still need to cut emissions, but we would expect to see less priority on renewables including wind as the way to achieve this. Moving out of the EU could also weaken London’s role as a world financial centre.

And the effects would extend to those working in other European nations. If the UK left the EU then it would have to renegotiate international power trade deals with nations including France, the Netherlands and Norway. A Brexit decision may also lead to changes in the EU’s other ‘green’ policies and targets, although the focus on renewables including wind would remain.

Currently, this rests on David Cameron, who is in a tougher position than he was with the Scottish vote back in 2014.

Cameron wants to stay in the EU, but he has to fan just enough anti-EU sentiment so he can use the threat of ‘Brexit’ to win concessions from the EU. He wants to campaign to stay in the EU, but he also has to let anti-EU voices in his cabinet campaign to leave. He has to criticise the EU now, but then ask people to vote to stay in at a referendum in either 2016 or 2017.

And the campaign to leave will be formidable. The eurozone crisis, the migrant crisis and the other ways the EU affects people’s lives — both in real and imagined ways — will fuel the ‘out’ campaign. The anti-EU campaign should also find it easier to mobilise voters.

We are still confident that the UK people will vote to stay in the European Union, but it will be one hell of a close vote, and will tell us if Cameron is a highly-skilled political operator, or just lucky.

If he is not the former then wind could get caught in the crossfire.

The UK's prime minister David Cameron has a track record of mismanaging big votes.

It may sound strange to say this of a leader that has delivered his Conservative Party the largest share of the popular vote in two general elections, but hear us out. Labour did not provide much in the way of a credible alternative in either election.

However, when faced with a strong opposition as in the Scottish independence vote of 2014, he was far less assured.

And yes, Cameron did get the result he wanted in that Scottish devolution referendum, but it came after a panicky flurry of last-minute promises. This is what we have to look forward to when the UK votes on membership of the EU in either 2016 or 2017.

This is what makes the UK referendum on membership of the European Union such a high-stakes game for the wind sector.

If the UK votes to leave — the so-called ‘Brexit’ — it would free the country from EU renewable energy targets and mean that the UK government can make much deeper cuts to subsidies for wind and solar. It has already shown that it prefers nuclear and fracking to wind or solar, and has only offered conditional support to the offshore wind sector in which the UK is a global leader.

The result of a Brexit decision could be devastating for those working in the UK wind sector. The UK has its own climate change act, introduced in 2008, so it would still need to cut emissions, but we would expect to see less priority on renewables including wind as the way to achieve this. Moving out of the EU could also weaken London’s role as a world financial centre.

And the effects would extend to those working in other European nations. If the UK left the EU then it would have to renegotiate international power trade deals with nations including France, the Netherlands and Norway. A Brexit decision may also lead to changes in the EU’s other ‘green’ policies and targets, although the focus on renewables including wind would remain.

Currently, this rests on David Cameron, who is in a tougher position than he was with the Scottish vote back in 2014.

Cameron wants to stay in the EU, but he has to fan just enough anti-EU sentiment so he can use the threat of ‘Brexit’ to win concessions from the EU. He wants to campaign to stay in the EU, but he also has to let anti-EU voices in his cabinet campaign to leave. He has to criticise the EU now, but then ask people to vote to stay in at a referendum in either 2016 or 2017.

And the campaign to leave will be formidable. The eurozone crisis, the migrant crisis and the other ways the EU affects people’s lives — both in real and imagined ways — will fuel the ‘out’ campaign. The anti-EU campaign should also find it easier to mobilise voters.

We are still confident that the UK people will vote to stay in the European Union, but it will be one hell of a close vote, and will tell us if Cameron is a highly-skilled political operator, or just lucky.

If he is not the former then wind could get caught in the crossfire.

The UK's prime minister David Cameron has a track record of mismanaging big votes.

It may sound strange to say this of a leader that has delivered his Conservative Party the largest share of the popular vote in two general elections, but hear us out. Labour did not provide much in the way of a credible alternative in either election.

However, when faced with a strong opposition as in the Scottish independence vote of 2014, he was far less assured.

And yes, Cameron did get the result he wanted in that Scottish devolution referendum, but it came after a panicky flurry of last-minute promises. This is what we have to look forward to when the UK votes on membership of the EU in either 2016 or 2017.

This is what makes the UK referendum on membership of the European Union such a high-stakes game for the wind sector.

If the UK votes to leave — the so-called ‘Brexit’ — it would free the country from EU renewable energy targets and mean that the UK government can make much deeper cuts to subsidies for wind and solar. It has already shown that it prefers nuclear and fracking to wind or solar, and has only offered conditional support to the offshore wind sector in which the UK is a global leader.

The result of a Brexit decision could be devastating for those working in the UK wind sector. The UK has its own climate change act, introduced in 2008, so it would still need to cut emissions, but we would expect to see less priority on renewables including wind as the way to achieve this. Moving out of the EU could also weaken London’s role as a world financial centre.

And the effects would extend to those working in other European nations. If the UK left the EU then it would have to renegotiate international power trade deals with nations including France, the Netherlands and Norway. A Brexit decision may also lead to changes in the EU’s other ‘green’ policies and targets, although the focus on renewables including wind would remain.

Currently, this rests on David Cameron, who is in a tougher position than he was with the Scottish vote back in 2014.

Cameron wants to stay in the EU, but he has to fan just enough anti-EU sentiment so he can use the threat of ‘Brexit’ to win concessions from the EU. He wants to campaign to stay in the EU, but he also has to let anti-EU voices in his cabinet campaign to leave. He has to criticise the EU now, but then ask people to vote to stay in at a referendum in either 2016 or 2017.

And the campaign to leave will be formidable. The eurozone crisis, the migrant crisis and the other ways the EU affects people’s lives — both in real and imagined ways — will fuel the ‘out’ campaign. The anti-EU campaign should also find it easier to mobilise voters.

We are still confident that the UK people will vote to stay in the European Union, but it will be one hell of a close vote, and will tell us if Cameron is a highly-skilled political operator, or just lucky.

If he is not the former then wind could get caught in the crossfire.

The UK's prime minister David Cameron has a track record of mismanaging big votes.

It may sound strange to say this of a leader that has delivered his Conservative Party the largest share of the popular vote in two general elections, but hear us out. Labour did not provide much in the way of a credible alternative in either election.

However, when faced with a strong opposition as in the Scottish independence vote of 2014, he was far less assured.

And yes, Cameron did get the result he wanted in that Scottish devolution referendum, but it came after a panicky flurry of last-minute promises. This is what we have to look forward to when the UK votes on membership of the EU in either 2016 or 2017.

This is what makes the UK referendum on membership of the European Union such a high-stakes game for the wind sector.

If the UK votes to leave — the so-called ‘Brexit’ — it would free the country from EU renewable energy targets and mean that the UK government can make much deeper cuts to subsidies for wind and solar. It has already shown that it prefers nuclear and fracking to wind or solar, and has only offered conditional support to the offshore wind sector in which the UK is a global leader.

The result of a Brexit decision could be devastating for those working in the UK wind sector. The UK has its own climate change act, introduced in 2008, so it would still need to cut emissions, but we would expect to see less priority on renewables including wind as the way to achieve this. Moving out of the EU could also weaken London’s role as a world financial centre.

And the effects would extend to those working in other European nations. If the UK left the EU then it would have to renegotiate international power trade deals with nations including France, the Netherlands and Norway. A Brexit decision may also lead to changes in the EU’s other ‘green’ policies and targets, although the focus on renewables including wind would remain.

Currently, this rests on David Cameron, who is in a tougher position than he was with the Scottish vote back in 2014.

Cameron wants to stay in the EU, but he has to fan just enough anti-EU sentiment so he can use the threat of ‘Brexit’ to win concessions from the EU. He wants to campaign to stay in the EU, but he also has to let anti-EU voices in his cabinet campaign to leave. He has to criticise the EU now, but then ask people to vote to stay in at a referendum in either 2016 or 2017.

And the campaign to leave will be formidable. The eurozone crisis, the migrant crisis and the other ways the EU affects people’s lives — both in real and imagined ways — will fuel the ‘out’ campaign. The anti-EU campaign should also find it easier to mobilise voters.

We are still confident that the UK people will vote to stay in the European Union, but it will be one hell of a close vote, and will tell us if Cameron is a highly-skilled political operator, or just lucky.

If he is not the former then wind could get caught in the crossfire.

The UK's prime minister David Cameron has a track record of mismanaging big votes.

It may sound strange to say this of a leader that has delivered his Conservative Party the largest share of the popular vote in two general elections, but hear us out. Labour did not provide much in the way of a credible alternative in either election.

However, when faced with a strong opposition as in the Scottish independence vote of 2014, he was far less assured.

And yes, Cameron did get the result he wanted in that Scottish devolution referendum, but it came after a panicky flurry of last-minute promises. This is what we have to look forward to when the UK votes on membership of the EU in either 2016 or 2017.

This is what makes the UK referendum on membership of the European Union such a high-stakes game for the wind sector.

If the UK votes to leave — the so-called ‘Brexit’ — it would free the country from EU renewable energy targets and mean that the UK government can make much deeper cuts to subsidies for wind and solar. It has already shown that it prefers nuclear and fracking to wind or solar, and has only offered conditional support to the offshore wind sector in which the UK is a global leader.

The result of a Brexit decision could be devastating for those working in the UK wind sector. The UK has its own climate change act, introduced in 2008, so it would still need to cut emissions, but we would expect to see less priority on renewables including wind as the way to achieve this. Moving out of the EU could also weaken London’s role as a world financial centre.

And the effects would extend to those working in other European nations. If the UK left the EU then it would have to renegotiate international power trade deals with nations including France, the Netherlands and Norway. A Brexit decision may also lead to changes in the EU’s other ‘green’ policies and targets, although the focus on renewables including wind would remain.

Currently, this rests on David Cameron, who is in a tougher position than he was with the Scottish vote back in 2014.

Cameron wants to stay in the EU, but he has to fan just enough anti-EU sentiment so he can use the threat of ‘Brexit’ to win concessions from the EU. He wants to campaign to stay in the EU, but he also has to let anti-EU voices in his cabinet campaign to leave. He has to criticise the EU now, but then ask people to vote to stay in at a referendum in either 2016 or 2017.

And the campaign to leave will be formidable. The eurozone crisis, the migrant crisis and the other ways the EU affects people’s lives — both in real and imagined ways — will fuel the ‘out’ campaign. The anti-EU campaign should also find it easier to mobilise voters.

We are still confident that the UK people will vote to stay in the European Union, but it will be one hell of a close vote, and will tell us if Cameron is a highly-skilled political operator, or just lucky.

If he is not the former then wind could get caught in the crossfire.

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Full archive access is available to members only

Not a member yet?

Become a member of the 6,500-strong A Word About Wind community today, and gain access to our premium content, exclusive lead generation and investment opportunities.