Britain ‘four meals from anarchy’ if Russia cuts off fuel and power over spy poisoning row, experts warn

London and Moscow have already thrown out 23 of each other’s diplomats as a row between the two countries over the poisoning of an ex-spy deepens.

There are fears the spat could escalate further, with the Kremlin cutting off gas supplies and launching cyber attacks to bring down the national grid.

And experts have now warned that any move to take out the UK’s fuel and power could swiftly bring the country to its knees.

Julius Weitzdörfe, of Cambridge University’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, told the Telegraph: “I think that is a risk that is very real in the UK and it’s also neglected.

“And that sort of scenario could happen anytime – it could happen tomorrow.”

More than 80 per cent of the UK’s 25million homes are powered by gas and a quarter of the electricity is generated by gas-fired power stations.

And around half of Britain’s imports of liquefied natural gas so far this year have come directly from Russia.

Weitzdörfe said law and order would break down as soon as people had eaten what was in their cupboards, adding that a previous study estimated the country is “four meals away from anarchy”.

The worrying news highlights how British households now depend on fuel supplies from pipelines controlled by our “new enemy”.

Britain started receiving supplies of gas from Russia in December as a result of a drop in domestic output caused by the closure of a key North Sea pipeline.

And after the recent cold snap British gas reserves are said to be running very low.

If Putin did decide to cut off supplies from the motherland the UK would clearly be hit very hard, very quickly.

And Putin's got form.

In 2009 Russia he cut off gas exports to Europe by 60 per cent overnight, plunging the continent into an energy crisis.


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