The United Kingdom would cut off gas supplies to Europe under an emergency plan that has been drawn up to address the energy crisis that has emerged since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Pipelines to the Netherlands and Belgium would be shut down if there is a severe shortage of supplies, the Financial Times first reported.

The four-stage emergency plan would also include rationing gas to large industrial users and urging households to cut consumption, it said.

European gas companies have warned any move to cut supplies to Europe would worsen the energy crisis on the continent and appealed for the UK to reconsider.

The International Energy Agency has said that Europe needs to prepare immediately for the eventuality of Russia turning off all gas exports to the region this winter, and countries are now more urgently acting to wean themselves off energy imports from the nation.

Germany and the Netherlands have already activated their own emergency plans, including restarting coal plants, and the EU this week adopted new legislation that requires countries to fill their gas storage facilities to at least 80 percent by November.

Russian State-owned energy giant Gazprom this month cut supplies running through Europe’s major natural gas pipeline, Nord Stream 1, by 60 percent, leading to limitations in Italy, Austria, Czech Republic and Slovakia. Gazprom said technical issues with its Nord Stream pipeline, specifically concerning a gas compressor, were to blame for the cut in supply.

Russia previously cut gas to Poland, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland over their refusal to pay in rubles currency. A dozen EU countries are now affected by gas supply cuts, reported Reuters.

European countries are seeking to increase use of renewable energy, and are turning to the United States to supply greater volumes of expensive liquefied natural gas, or LNG, and to Norway and Azerbaijan for more piped gas.

Rob Jetten, climate minister of the Netherlands, warned this week that a winter gas crisis in one European country could swiftly spread across the continent.

“It’s great if individual member states are able to fill their gas storages before November 1, but if other countries are not able to reach 80 percent-and especially big countries like Germany-then you have to be aware that this will be a domino effect for the whole of Europe,” he told Politico.

Bart Jan Hoevers, president of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas, whose members include Italy’s Snam and Fluxys of Belgium, urged the UK not to stop the pipeline supply to Europe in the event of a crisis.

“Because while it is beneficial for the continent in the summer, it is also beneficial for the UK in the winter,” he told the Financial Times. Analysts noted that during the winter, the UK receives as much as 20-25 percent of its gas through its two-way pipeline interconnectors with EU countries.

Hoevers said a gas emergency was “extremely unlikely”, but that “political arrangements” needed to be in place “to know what we can expect from each other as neighboring countries in case of a severe crisis”.

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