European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans | John Thys/AFP via Getty Images
Timmermans: UK should not be ejected from North Sea energy platform
Updated 2/10/20, 6:27 PM CET
The EU’s Green Deal chief Frans Timmermans on Monday said he opposed a decision to eject the United Kingdom from the North Sea Energy Cooperation platform and would do his best to ensure that “cooperation with the British will continue.”
That contradicts an email sent by a Commission official, first reported by POLITICO last month, which said the U.K. could “no longer be invited to meetings” after Brexit on January 31. The country has since been removed from the platform’s website.
“I’ve already asked this morning how something like this can happen and whether it’s necessary,” Timmermans told Dutch broadcaster NOS. “I really don’t think it’s necessary to remove the British. If you want to arrange things properly in the North Sea, you need the British too.”
The platform, set up in 2016, brought together eight EU countries plus the United Kingdom and non-EU member Norway to discuss how to develop offshore wind farms and grid infrastructure in the North Sea. Boosting uptake of offshore wind is key to realizing the Commission’s Green Deal plans.
“We should just try to work with the British as best we can,” Timmermans said. “The better the management of the North Sea, the more efficient the wind farms on the North Sea will be, and the better we can get the energy where it is most needed.”
“I assume that the cooperation with the British will continue.