Switzerland is at risk of being kicked out of the European electricity market as Brussels takes a firm stance after Bern refused to sign an all-encompassing agreement to manage trade. Earlier this year, France used similar threats against the UK in a bid to secure access for its furious fishermen off the coast of Jersey. Without a deal in place, the Swiss cannot participate in the EU’s power-market coupling, while certificates of origin, which shows whether electricity bought or sold is from a renewable source, are now not being accepted throughout the area.
Brussels is well known for its hardline tactics with other nations but the Swiss are also beginning to worry.
There have been warnings of national blackouts, although such an event is considered unlikely.
But consumers and businesses fear energy prices could surge as a result of the row with the EU.
Now Britons have once again reacted furiously towards the tactics from the EU, claiming it is yet more proof Brexit has been vindicated.
Reacting to our initial story, one Express.co.uk reader raged: “The hard Brexiteers wanted a complete break and I thought that was a bit OTT because we could continue to trade with the EU and develop our new markets around the world knowing we had very little loss in trade because of Brexit.
“Now I see the hardline Brexiteers are correct because the EU don’t want fair trade they want to dominate the UK and force us into either rejoin as a subservient country or bankrupt the UK.
“These are not a nice trade block to do business with, they are poison and I would now opt for a clean break and to hell with softening the blow to the EU. Boris must now be tough with them.”
A second person fumed: “If the EU cuts off electricity to any country, people are going to die. This is how low they are.
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But Brussels chiefs hit back and warned there would be no unfettered access to the bloc’s single market and are working on destroying the bilateral ties.
The European Commission said: “Switzerland will gradually lose its privileged connection with the EU electricity system.
“Less connection and less cooperation will make the Swiss energy system less efficient and more costly for Swiss consumers.”
Switzerland plays a hugely important role in the bloc’s electricity system through the supply of clean energy and enabling power to pass through its borders to the 27 member states.
Swiss MP Martin Baeumle claimed that the EU wouldn’t be able to cut off power supplies without spiting itself.
He said: “You can’t just flick a switch and then Switzerland is cut out.
“If there’s a blackout that will hit everyone.
“It’s an illusion that Switzerland would go black but the lights would stay on elsewhere in Europe.”