Your Saturday UK Briefing: When Talking About Energy Gets Scary


Something for the weekend

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(Bloomberg) — Well, hello there.

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And so we come to the final stretch in the long — some would say interminable — race between Rishi and Liz. The prize: the key to No. 10. As prizes go right now, it’s a bit, well, meh. Whoever wins (let’s pretend for a moment it’s close) is going to have to work out how to stop millions of Brits falling into fuel poverty and revive an economy hurtling into recession. Here’s a look at some of his/her challenges ahead.

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First, those power bills. Households will pay almost triple the price to heat their homes this winter compared with a year ago. William Mathis and Todd Gillespie break down the cost — from a traditional Victorian home in London to a drafty mansion in the sticks.

Our energy columnist Javier Blas has been listening to the conversations between power traders and the people who manage the national grid. They’re scary. Turns out that keeping the lights on may prove a little harder than the government is letting on.

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Of course, it’s not just the UK which is suffering as the Kremlin turns off the taps. Europe has it just as bad, if not worse, in many countries. We’ve mapped out which governments are doing what to reduce consumption. Today’s starter for 10: Name the first country in Europe to impose rolling blackouts because of the crisis? Click here for the answer.

Bloomberg’s political team reports why Kwasi Kwarteng is the hot tip to be the next chancellor, assuming Ms. Truss doesn’t blow her final week of campaigning. With inflation at a four-decade high and the pound heading toward a 37-year-low, it’s quite the challenge for a man who prides himself on “Making Shit Happen.”

When Britain’s much-vaunted criminal system goes on strike, some would say it’s a sign something is very wrong. Jonathan Browning explains why m’ learned friends in England and Wales (the ones who wear those flowing wigs and gowns) are walking out.

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It’s probably not a government priority, but Irina Anghel explains why Downing Street needs to take the problem of sewage blighting the country’s beaches seriously.

And very sorry, but slipping down the local to forget the misery over a jar or two may also be off the agenda soon. Pub groups are warning (again) of a shortage of beer because there isn’t enough carbon dioxide to go around.

No such worries for the top 0.1%, they have other concerns. Eamon Farhat reports how private-jet use has surged by almost a third compared to pre-pandemic levels. It’s all just so much easier, you see. Bonus question: The most popular route is from London to where?

And to bring it all full circle, our “UK Politics” podcast digs a little deeper on the power crisis and discusses whether the opposition needs to be a bit more vocal.

Enjoy the rest of your Saturday, and we’ll be back tomorrow with a look-ahead to the coming week.



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