Ready for Brexit

Posted on: 15/10/2019

It’s been hard to get away from Brexit. Almost three years on from the vote to leave the European Union, the manner of our exit and the shape of the UKs relationship with the EU in the future is still firmly in the ‘TBC’ box.

As a regulated business that operates solely in the UK, the last few years have been business as usual for us, and the effect on our day to day operations has been minimal: we’ve kept the gas flowing safely.

But as a responsible business, and working alongside the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), we’ve been planning and taking action to make sure that no matter how or when we leave, our services, which 7.5m people from Wrexham to Redruth rely on, are unaffected.

Should disruption follow Brexit, we would invoke our Business Continuity plan. This robust plan focuses on delivering the gas emergency service and maintaining the gas network through the period of disruption so we can continue to transport gas safely and reliably to homes and businesses, and support electricity generation. Most recently we invoked this plan during ‘Beast from the East’, where the ability of our team to get around the network was seriously impaired by the weather.

To support this plan, we’ve taken some other key steps:

  • Stockpiling critical spares. Kept separate from our standard operational stock, we’ve stockpiled critical spares for repairing gas leaks – including repair clamps and other essential items.  Stored at key locations around our network for ease of access as required by our engineering teams, should there be any disruptions.
  • Surveyed key suppliers. Most of our suppliers have started to build their own stock levels to guard against any potential supply issues. We’ve been working with the company that we buy our gas pipes from to make sure they have put measures in place to maintain supplies in case of disruption.
  • Reviewed our transport arrangements. To deliver the gas emergency service and maintain the gas network through a period of disruption we would need a supply of diesel. We’re working with Government to make sure that we have the appropriate plans in place should there be any disruption to fuel supplies.

I hope this reassures you that however we ‘Brexit’, we’ll be ready. I’m confident that with our Business Continuity plan in place, and the preparations we’ve made, we’ll be able to deliver for the communities that rely on us should significant disruption occur.


Andrew Hopkins

Wales & West Utilities Director of Asset Management, Health, Safety & Environment