Documents considered by the Committee on 27 February 2019 Contents

8Common Rules for EU Internal Gas Market

Committee’s assessment

Legally and politically important

Committee’s decision

Cleared from scrutiny

Document details

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2009/73/EC concerning common rules for the internal gas market

Legal base

Article 194(2) TFEU; Ordinary legislative procedure; QMV

Department

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Document Number

(39220), 14204/17 + ADD 1, COM(17) 660

Summary and Committee’s conclusions

8.1The Commission proposed to extend its rules on the internal gas market to cover pipelines from third countries. Otherwise, such pipelines are subject to an array of differing national rules, including different rules between those EU countries through which a pipeline passes. In its original Explanatory Memorandum, the Government was supportive, noting that the proposal would be helpful to the UK post-Brexit as it would provide a ready framework for a regulatory regime applicable to both existing and future gas connectors which will enable the efficient flow of gas between the UK and EU to continue.

8.2The backdrop to the proposal is the supply of gas from Russia to the EU through the planned “Nord Stream 2” pipeline from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea. This builds on the existing Nord Stream pipeline and gas routes into the EU through Ukraine. An important EU gas market rule is that ownership of gas transmission infrastructure must be separate from that of the gas supplier, a rule which could be challenging for the Russian gas operator, Gazprom. The new legislation does, however, allow derogations for existing gas pipelines and exemptions for new ones.

8.3We last considered the proposal at our meeting of 12 September, reiterating our interest in the legal issues identified in the course of negotiations.58 These concerned:

8.4The Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry (Rt Hon. Claire Perry MP) has written twice to update the Committee. In her most recent letter, of 19 February 2019, she explains that agreement was reached between the European Parliament and Council on 12 February and that Council approval is expected on 4 March. This followed an earlier letter59 prepared before conclusion of the negotiations.

8.5In summary, the institutions agreed that:

8.6We note that an agreement satisfactory to all sides has been reached and we recall the Government’s view that the legislation is of benefit to the UK as it withdraws from the EU. We clear the document from scrutiny and require no further information.

Full details of the documents

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2009/73/EC concerning common rules for the internal gas market : (39220), 14204/17 + ADD 1, COM(17) 660.

Previous Committee Reports

Thirty-eighth Report HC 301–xxxvii (2017–19), chapter 3 (12 September 2018); Seventh Report HC 301–vii (2017–19), chapter 4 (19 December 2017).


58 Thirty-eighth Report HC 301–xxxvii (2017–19), chapter 3 (12 September 2018).

59 Letter from the Rt Hon. Claire Perry MP to Sir William Cash MP dated 14 February 2019.




Published: 5 March 2019