The Spectator

Letters | 31 March 2016

Plus: visas for Turkish visitors; hot cross buns; low-paid work; asylum seekers; public toilets

Amber warning

Sir: James Forsyth’s interview with Amber Rudd (‘The Amber Express’, 19 March) was very revealing, but also slightly disappointing. She is right about the succession of ‘zealots’ who preceded her in setting British energy policy, but after the billions wasted on wind and solar, paid for by stealth taxes added to our electricity bills, and now providing around 2 per cent of capacity, does she still support the drive towards ‘renewable energy’? Britain now has the most expensive electricity in Europe, hardly an encouragement for business investment.

After years of negotiations, escalating costs and serious questions about EDF’s technology and financing problems, the minister had a very strong case to cancel the proposed nuclear power station at Hinkley Point, if politics had not intervened. Far more promising than Hinkley is Rolls-Royce’s work to develop a fleet of smaller reactors. With a green light, the first one could be operational within ten years at a cost of £1.25 billion.

The world energy market has been changed dramatically by the development of shale gas, the reappraisal of fossil fuel reserves and the falling price of oil. There is still a serious risk that the lights could go out next winter, and still the minister seems to have no answers or viable long-term plan for Britain’s energy security at a cost that provides value for consumers and a competitive edge for industry… and I don’t believe that her EU ‘energy union’ will take us down the right road.
Paul Knocker

Bembridge, Isle of Wight

Why visitors need visas

Sir: Sir Timothy Sainsbury is somewhat disingenuous when he dismisses visa requirements for Turkish visitors (Letters, 26 March). Visa requirements allow the issuing officer to check information such as employment position, available finances, family circumstances and so on thoroughly, rather than trying to do all this at passport control with impatient queues building up.

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