Council Leader highlights Aquind national security concerns to government

The Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, has on 4th August 2021 written to the Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to highlight Aquind Interconnector national security concerns.

Dear Secretary of State,

I understand that the Planning Inspector’s report on the Aquind Interconnector, which is due to land in Portsmouth from France, is now on your desk for consideration.

In the Public Enquiry into this project, the environmental case has been made strongly, as it should be. Also the transport disruption case has been made strongly, as it should be.

My fear is that the national security case for refusing this application has not been made strongly enough.

For good or ill the UK is no longer part of Europe. That argument took place and a conclusion was reached. Had the UK remained within Europe then there would have been a strong argument for cross border power arrangements to be policed within European Law and the UK Government would have had means to be able to protect their national interests through the European Courts. This is no longer the case.

I have a real concern that the UK could become dependent on power coming from France and could end up in a position where they have no control over the supply of this power.

This might be a small and potentially unlikely situation, but the supply of electricity to homes in Portsmouth should now be under British control rather than a country where we no longer have leverage by belonging to the same European club.

For this reason, along with the strong arguments regarding environmental and transport disruption, I would urge you to turn down the application for the Aquind Interconnector.

Yours sincerely,

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson CBE
Leader of Portsmouth City Council