Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar, committed some weeks ago to special help for large exporters that are also energy intensive, raising the possibility that in an energy shortage, triggering a rationing regime for gas, electricity or both, firms which export energy would get priority.

This sounded odd at the time – if energy gets scarce and cannot be allocated through the market, why would the Government allocate to firms which use lots of energy and ship the embodied energy abroad? If it is scarce, why allocate against the interests of less obvious targets?