The Brits are bored to tears, the Brexiteers chomping at the bit, and the Remainers pulling their hair out. The UK’s (potential) withrawal from arguably the most important political union in history is on front pages the world over, even if most of us haven’t a clue as to what’s occuring. One thing’s for sure, the chances of both Ms May and Mr Corbyn being around to squabble over the ashes are low – and the effect on the O&G industry is uncertain at best.
The full transcript of this week’s episode of News Stream is available below.
Hello and welcome to Oil & Gas IQ News Stream, I’m Tom Stuchfield. This week on News Stream, we look at the potential effects of a general election on the UK oil and gas industry.
First off – an election is not a foregone conclusion at this point. Regardless of political persuasion, it cannot be argued that either the Prime Minister or the current Leader of the Opposition is in a strong position. Beset by resignations, defections, and the seemingly-permanent emergence of rife antisemitism, Corbyn’s outfit is split and fragmented. Mrs May’s cabinet is totally divided, and hasn’t successfully passed a motion in months.
An election may be triggered as a swan song move from the beleaguered PM, or if a vote of no confidence is successfully passed. In that instance, she would most likely step down as leader of the blues regardless of outcome. So, with no clear replacements in the pipeline, and no strong leader within Labour – what would this mean for British oil and gas?
It’s Summer 2019, and the Tories scrape through a general election. They have a new leader following the manifesto to the letter, committed to supporting the development of decommissioning, developing shale gas, and driving growth in the natural resources sector. There may also be a redirection of tax money from shale sites to local communities. In short – things will continue as planned.
Now let’s say the battered red beast of the Corbynites defeats the most unpopular Prime Minister since Gordon Brown. In high contrast to the Conservatives, the Labour party is strictly opposed to shale developments, and highlights two things in its energy policy: the Climate Change Act and the Paris Agreement. Proposing a new energy mix based primarily on renewables, nuclear, green gas, and some fossil fuels, Corbyn has pledged to review North Sea oil and the current rate of taxes if he wins the next election. It is unlikely that he’ll lower them. Fracking will most probably remain dead in the water – surprising no-one. Sorry Cuadrilla.
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