PUBLISHED: 15:39 09 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:28 09 June 2017
Scroby Sands wind farm from the air. Picture: Simon Finlay.
The East of England’s energy sector is hopeful of continuity and solid parliamentary support following the general election.
All MPs along Norfolk and Suffolk’s energy coast – including Thérèse Coffey, Brandon Lewis and Norman Lamb – were re-elected in the tumultuous vote.
Simon Gray, chief executive of the East of England Energy Group (EEEGR), said all were supportive of the east’s “mixed energy portfolio”.
“All the parties, with the possible exception of the Greens, are supportive of the East energy coast we have here in terms of our gas and offshore wind developments,” he said.
“We have got strong local MPs along the energy coast, who have all been supportive of our organisation and our energy strategy for the region, so I think that is really good.”
He added: “Despite what has happened there is still huge international interest in our energy industry.”
The national effects of the election also concerned Mr Gray, who believed another may be called before the end of the year as the result represented “a huge vote against” the prime minister.
He said: “What is less certain is the effect of this on the overall UK economy. Who is going to negotiate Brexit? Is this a mandate from the public that we do not want a hard Brexit?
“I am concerned about whether our hand will be weakened by this and clearly whoever forms a government – and it is not clear who will do that – will need a mandate to go and negotiate Brexit. I think it will lead to another election and that leaves us with uncertainty for a longer period.”
He added that there was “no call for big businesses to rally behind the Tory party” printed in the press during the short campaign, defying historical tradition.
“It may have been a way for the party to distance itself from the ideas and excesses of big business, particularly big financial businesses,” he said.