EU membership to protect UK energy supply - UK energy minister

EU membership to protect UK energy supply - UK energy minister"We have seen how countries such as Putin's Russia use their gas supplies as a tool of foreign policy, threatening to cut off supplies or drastically increase prices," Rudd said, according to Reuters.

Her comments are part of the government's campaign to persuade Britons to vote to stay inside the EU at a June 23 referendum and were immediately criticized by rival campaigners who want to leave the bloc as scaremongering.

Rudd argues that Britain's dependence on imported gas is "not without risk" and that EU membership gives it greater negotiating power in supply disputes.

Read also: British Defense Secretary: Britain, Ukraine to sign new defense pact

It is reported that Russia provides around 30% of the EU's gas and a single supply deal signed last year by Britain's biggest energy supplier Centrica meant that at the time Russia's Gazprom would meet 9% of the country's gas needs.

According to Rudd, an exit from the 28-member EU would threaten foreign investment in Britain's energy industry.
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