Government urged to plan for oil and gas rationing to avoid standoff with Russia

Minutes later, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps completely ruled out rationing energy supplies on the same BBC show, Sunday Morning, claiming ‘it’s not the route we want to go down’.

Labour has suggested the UK should follow EU countries and ration oil and gas supplies to avoid a showdown with Vladimir Putin.

Last week the despot Russian leader told “unfriendly” countries they must pay for gas in roubles or it will cut supplies.

It was not clear whether he planned to slash existing contracts that set the price in euros or dollars, but nations fear he may start to ration energy supplies.

Germany and Austria moved a step closer to gas rationing on Wednesday, after activating an emergency plan.

Today, Shadow Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds hinted the UK should follow suit.

Jonathan Reynolds, Shadow Secretary of State for Business and Industrial Strategy


Martyn Wheatley / i-Images)

“We should be making those plans and the Government should be preparing, not necessarily in public, for that situation,” he told the BBC’s Sunday Morning show.

Mr Reynolds said the Government should announce a plan “which is not simply shopping from one authoritarian regime to the next for fossil fuels”.

“But let’s be clear, we’re looking at the images coming out of Ukraine right now, I don’t think we should be talking about going back to business as usual where we just buy large quantities of fossil fuels,” he added.

Transport Secretary Grant shapps claimed rationing energy supplies is not the route the Government wants to “go down on”.

He told Sunday Morning: “I think the summit in Europe, the Germans in particular are very exposed to Russian energy.”

Mr Shapps added: “[The UK is] not as open to shocks directly from Russia as a result of the fact that we don’t get as much oil and gas from them as other countries.”

“It’s not the route that we want to go down.”

Vladimir Putin told ‘unfriendly’ foreign countries they must start paying for gas in roubles or it will cut supplies.


Getty Images)

The UK has pledged to ban Russian oil imports by the end of this year as Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has shown no signs of slowing down.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the transition would “give the market, businesses and supply chains more than enough time to replace Russian imports – which make up 8% of UK demand”.

The Government did not make plans to reduce the UK’s reliance on Russian’s gas, claiming Russia only provides around 5% of the country’s gas supplies.

Russia supplies around 40% of Germany’s gas. Despite the EU countries plans to prepare for rationing, it has admitted it will not be able to wean its reliance on Russia until mid-2024.

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