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Jeremy Hunt, the UK’s Foreign Secretary assured the oil and gas industry that Brexit will not wreak havoc on it despite mounting concerns across industries that the country’s exit from the European Union will have devastating consequences.
Energy Voice quotes Hunt as saying local oil and gas businesses had the resilience to withstand the fallout from Brexit, acknowledging their worry regarding the possibility of tariffs, supply chain disruptions, and other problems that the UK’s departure from the EU will likely bring about.
“We are absolutely determined to deliver a pro-business Brexit. The oil and gas industry is absolutely essential to the British economy – 300,000 jobs, one third of which are in Scotland. Aberdeen is central to that.” Hunt said ahead of a visit to Aberdeen, where he is facing the disgruntlement of the Scottish National Party over the central government’s determination to continue pursuing its Brexit plans despite the increasingly likelihood of a hard rather than soft exit that will affect all industries and specifically oil and gas, which are central to Scotland’s budget.
Among the problems that oil and gas companies based in the UK will face after Brexit are a higher trade bill with the EU if tariffs are instituted as the country stops being a member of the common EU market, more red tape that could delay equipment deliveries from Europe, and workforce security as foreign workers in the UK’s oil and gas industry represent about 5 percent of the total.
Jeremy Hunt called for all stakeholders to back PM Theresa May’s proposed deal for Brexit to avoid the worst fallout, adding “If that passes through then we would be on track to have a completely tariff free trading relationship with the rest of Europe going forward.”
As the deadline for the UK’s exit from the European Union approaches, all industries are getting increasingly jittery about what happens after, as the chances of a deal that serves equally well both sides vanished a long time ago and now the question seems to be whether the UK will leave with a bad deal or no deal at all.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.