The Prime Minister Should Stop Faffing About Hinkley Point

  • Date: 02/09/16
  • Neil Collins, Financial Times

Mr Bowden is right. It is time to stop faffing about with the likes of Hinkley Point and start the schemes we need.

Electric cars? No thanks

How big a bribe do you need to buy an electric car? The answer, it seems, is a good deal more than the current £4,500 (plus zero road tax and free parking). Yet only one new motor in a hundred sold in the UK is electric. The MPs on the environmental audit committee blame the lack of charging points and “range anxiety”, the worry that the car will conk out before you get home. They would rather not admit that petrol and diesel are far better suited to transport than clunky batteries.

Unfortunately, Britain is committed to an 80 per cent cut in CO2 emissions by 2050. At the time, this was a cost-free promise for the Blair administration, an irresistible combination of green votes and a “legally binding” commitment half a century away.

There is no realistic prospect of meeting this commitment. Fortunately, independence from the EU provides parliament with the opportunity to abandon this arbitrary timescale. One day batteries may catch up with internal combustion, but the current scheme, due to end in 2018, should be allowed to die quietly.

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