Germany is eager to talk to Britain about a solidarity pact that would allow Europe’s largest consumers of natural gas to bail each other out if an extreme cold snap were to create shortages this winter, German officials have said.
Such an agreement could be mutually beneficial for both London and Berlin, the German civil servant in charge of rationing in the case of a supply crisis told the Guardian in an interview.
“With its long coastline, the U.K. has a geographic advantage when it comes to infrastructure for importing liquid natural gas [LNG],” said Klaus Müller, the head of the federal network agency for utilities, Bundesnetzagentur.
“But the experience of the last few weeks has also shown us that the size of the gas network also matters. The larger the network, the easier to adjust temporary deficits.”
While the legal consequences of Brexit mean an emergency aid scheme between London and Berlin could not replicate “security of supply” (SoS) deals struck between European Union member states, Müller and German government spokespeople indicated a willingness to cooperate outside existing regulation.
“Legally, Great Britain has left European solidarity mechanisms, but the pipelines between the countries are still there,” said Müller, a member of the Green party and former environment minister in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein.
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