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'EU has it wrong with overriding energy policy and must instead harness unlimited power of seas and oceans'

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tidal-energy380The oceans and seas cover 71% of the earth's surface and are the largest absorber of the sun's energy. If the kinetic energy produced through the constant movement in our oceans and seas together with the absorbed thermal energy from the sun every day could be liberated, humanity could release an unlimited energy supply that could power the world forever.

There is no doubt that conventional energy costs will keep increasing without relent and the UK and EU must change its thinking on energy policy to one of future continual sustainability. If not, in the not too distant future, the majority of people and businesses will not be able to pay for their energy and even worse, the lights without the proper foresight, will go off for the many.

That is a simple fact of life as living standards and wages diminish in real terms throughout the EU and where inevitably this economic knock-on affect reduces the propensity for EU businesses to operate and trade. Indeed it will not be that long when in the UK the pound is devalued in my mind due to external influences that the British people have no control over. Spiralling energy costs being just one facet of this unfolding picture in the UK and ultimately in the long-term where this will spill over into the Eurozone with a probable future devaluation of the EURO as well.

For the recent unsustainable energy increases in the UK and those throughout the EU show that energy costs are becoming one of the major problem for sustainability for the people of Europe.

In this respect as people and businesses are totally reliant upon electricity as the lifeblood of all modern economies and without it economies will fail, change has to happen and not just mere words through the EU's political rhetoric. Indeed the Eurozone cannot continue to be totally reliant upon imported energy as this will just be sheer madness in the long run and where we have to start looking to other forms of electricity generation. There is no question that the seas and the oceans can and will provide 24/7 of our energy needs at a low cost in perpetuity and where this is unlike wind and solar cells that are limited energy providers; creating electricity only through infrequent environmental forces (no more than a maximum of 25% energy production daily with 75% energy inefficiency) and the sun’s energy during only daylight respectfully. Indeed these energy sources will never give humanity 24/7 energy supplies and where only the sea and oceans can do this. The other major advantage is that maintenance costs of hydro power schemes are extremely low once they are built and where these energy schemes would give the EU all the energy security that they would ever need. To date the EU has spent a very small amount on harnessing the power of the seas and oceans compared to the vast sums from the people’s taxation that have been invested in all the other energy sources; many with low energy returns compared to the potential available and with high long-term maintenance costs.

Therefore when one studies all the alternatives that are available it becomes clear that our seas around and inside Britain and the EU can only be the long-term solution to our energy problems and needs. For this energy is relatively cheap and free at the point of conversion, neither reliant upon world markets of supply and demand, and the profits of the large energy companies and their shareholders.

As a prime example of the political complacency across the EU, I cite a private sector project in the UK, the Western Water Highway. This scheme alone costed by AMEC the major international contractor, would provide between 10% and 20% of the UK’s total electricity needs through hydro power. Unfortunately for Britain their politicians are still living in the ‘dark ages’ and cannot see the woods for the trees. For this mega-project and others that have been conceived privately by British inventors and engineers (not government nor Whitehall and that is where the problem lies) are never given the light of day within any energy discussions. For it appears that government would prefer the British people and businesses to pay out in excess of one hundred billion every year in fossil fuel payments instead of using long term thinking investing in viable alternatives.

Indeed, a little common sense is needed to see that in the long-term continually and increasing high fossil fuel payments are sheer madness...and unfortunately it has to said will get far worse. In this respect also wind and solar when viewed against the continual 24/7 power of the seas and oceans was definitely not the right political energy decision, as eventually we shall have no alternative but to revert back to the seas and oceans for our long-term sustainable energy needs. But why not do it now is my big question and stop all this wasted investment in alternative low energy conversion energy sources that give little back and will eventually cost and arm and leg to maintain…and all at the cost of the people of the EU. For in the final analysis we will inevitably have no alternative but to go to the seas and oceans for our sustainable energy needs to preserve our way of life. Indeed in this respect the sooner that our political classes realise this the better it will be for the EU’s future and its ultimate survival.

For ultimately when the Almighty created the world he or she made the seas and the moon for a multitude of purposes in my mind. One of the main purpose in part and the long-term was to produce relatively free energy that humanity can harness and use at will to sustain itself.For in this respect also we as a species came from the sea and oceans and that is where our future destiny resides in all many ways…energy security and its control being a primary one if all truth be told.

Dr David Hill
Chief Executive
World Innovation Foundation

Western Water Highway

Brexit

Scottish government comment on efforts to stay in Erasmus

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Minsters have welcomed the support of around 150 MEPs who have asked the European Commission to explore how Scotland could continue to take part in the popular Erasmus exchange programme. The move comes a week after Further and Higher Education Minister Richard Lochhead held productive talks with Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Commissioner Mariya Gabriel to explore the idea. Until last year, over 2,000 Scottish students, staff and learners took part in the scheme annually, with Scotland attracting proportionally more Erasmus participants from across Europe - and sending more in the other direction - than any other country in the UK.

Lochhead said: “Losing Erasmus is huge blow for the thousands of Scottish students, community groups and adult learners - from all demographic backgrounds - who can no longer live, study or work in Europe.“It also closes the door for people to come to Scotland on Erasmus to experience our country and culture and it is heartening to see that loss of opportunity recognised by the 145 MEPs from across Europe who want Scotland’s place in Erasmus to continue. I am grateful to Terry Reintke and other MEPs for their efforts and thank them for extending the hand of friendship and solidarity to Scotland’s young people. I sincerely hope we can succeed.

“I have already had a virtual meeting with Commissioner Gabriel. We agreed that withdrawing from Erasmus is highly regrettable and we will continue to explore with the EU how to maximize Scotland’s continued engagement with the programme. I have also spoken with my Welsh Government counterpart and agreed to keep in close contact.”

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Brexit

Britain and EU at odds over bloc's diplomatic status in UK after Brexit

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Britain and the European Union are at odds over the British government’s refusal to grant EU representatives’ full diplomatic status in London after Brexit, write Estelle Shirbon and Elizabeth Piper in London and John Chalmers in Brussels.

An EU member state for 46 years, Britain voted in a 2016 referendum to leave, and completed its tortuous journey out of the bloc on 31 December, when Brexit fully took effect.

The BBC reported that the Foreign Office was refusing to grant the same diplomatic status and privileges to EU Ambassador Joao Vale de Almeida and his team as it gives to envoys of countries, on the basis that the EU is not a nation state.

Following the report, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman: “The EU, its delegation and staff will receive the privileges and immunities necessary to enable them to carry out their work in the UK effectively.

“It’s a matter of fact that the EU is a collective of nations, but it’s not a state...in its own right,” he said.

Under the Vienna Convention governing diplomatic relations, envoys representing countries have certain privileges such as immunity from detention and, in some cases, prosecution, as well as tax exemptions.

Representatives of international organisations whose status is not covered by the convention tend to have limited and less clearly defined privileges.

The European Commission, the 27-member bloc’s executive body, said the EU’s 143 delegations around the world had all been granted a status equivalent to that of diplomatic missions of states, and Britain was well aware of the fact.

“Granting reciprocal treatment based on the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations is standard practice between equal partners and we are confident that we can clear this issue with our friends in London in a satisfactory manner,” said Peter Stano, the commission’s spokesman for foreign affairs.

Stano added that when Britain was still an EU member, it had been supportive of the diplomatic status of EU delegations.

“Nothing has changed since the UK’s exit from the European Union to justify any change in stance on the UK’s part,” he said.

A British government source said the issue of the EU delegation’s status was subject to ongoing negotiations.

Former US President Donald Trump’s administration lowered the status of the EU delegation to Washington in January 2019, but later reversed the decision and restored full diplomatic status to it.

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Brexit

'Brexit carnage': Shellfish trucks protest in London over export delays

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More than 20 shellfish trucks parked on roads near the British parliament and Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Downing Street residence on Monday to protest against post-Brexit bureaucracy that has throttled exports to the European Union, write and

Many fishermen have been unable to export to the EU since catch certificates, health checks and customs declarations were introduced at the start of this year, delaying their deliveries and prompting European buyers to reject them.

Trucks with slogans such as “Brexit carnage” and “incompetent government destroying shellfish industry” parked metres from Johnson’s 10 Downing Street office in central London. Police were asking the truck drivers for details.

“We strongly feel the system could potentially collapse,” said Gary Hodgson, a director of Venture Seafoods, which exports live and processed crabs and lobsters to the EU.

“Prime Minister Boris Johnson needs to be honest with us, with himself and with the British public about the problems for the industry,” he told Reuters. One operator, he said, needed 400 pages of export documentation last week to enter Europe.

David Rosie at DR Collin & Son, which employs 200 people, used to send one or two trucks a night to France carrying live crab, lobster and langoustine worth around 150,000 pounds ($203,000). He said he had not exported a single box this year.

Fishermen, he said, “lost their livelihoods in the turn of a clock” when Britain left the EU’s orbit on New Year’s Eve.

Under a deal reached last month, British trade with the EU remains free of tariffs and quotas. But the creation of a full customs border means goods must be checked and paperwork filled in, shattering express delivery systems.

British meat industry warns of border chaos as delays halt exports

Using a phrase that has angered many business owners, Johnson described the changes as “teething problems”, and said they had been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Johnson said an additional £23 million ($31.24m) fund had been created to compensate businesses that “through no fault of their own have experienced bureaucratic delays, difficulties getting their goods through where there is a genuine buyer on the other side of the channel”.

The government said this extra cash was on top of a £100m investment in the industry over the next few years and nearly £200m provided to the Scottish government to minimize disruption.

Britain’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said that as well as financial support, it was working with the industry and the EU to address documentation issues.

“Our priority is to ensure that goods can continue to flow smoothly to market,” a government spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

Fishing alone contributes 0.1% of Britain’s GDP if processing is included, but for coastal communities it is a lifeline and a traditional way of life.

The Scotland Food & Drink association says exporters could be losing more than 1 million pounds in sales a day.

Many in coastal communities voted for Brexit but said they had not expected this impact.

Allan Miller, owner of AM Shellfish in Aberdeen, Scotland, said times for his deliveries of live brown crab, lobster and prawns had doubled from 24 hours. This mean lower prices and some of the product did not survive, he said.

“You’re talking 48 hours to 50 hours. It’s crazy,” he said.

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