South East MEP welcomes report into environmental risks of Britain leaving the EU

By   April 19, 2016
Keith Taylor, Green Party MEP for the South East, is welcoming a report which highlights the threats posed to British environmental and climate policy if the UK was to leave the EU.
 
The report – The EU Referendum and the UK Environment: An Expert Review – has been released by academic experts at the University of York and the University of East Anglia. It analyses the environmental, climate, energy and agricultural benefits of the UK’s membership of the EU, as well as outlining sectors where challenges remain while considering the implications of the leading scenarios for a UK outside the EU. 
 
The report acknowledges that the UK’s “ideological climate is sympathetic to a deregulatory agenda” and concludes that a vote to Leave “would create much uncertainty and therefore risks for UK environmental governance, policy, and quality.”
 
Keith Taylor, who is welcoming the findings of the report, said:
 
“I’m pleased to welcome this thorough and balanced report, which clearly highlights the significant and potentially calamitous environmental consequences of the UK leaving the EU.
 
What this report reinforces is that pollution and environmental degradation have no respect for national borders. Therefore, although Britain outside of the EU would still be bound by international commitments, these rules are weaker and harder to enforce, meaning Britain is far better off working with our European neighbours to tackle the shared challenges we face.
 
The EU is responsible for around 80% of all environmental laws in the UK and there are countless examples where the EU has driven positive change. It is these shared laws which are working effectively to make our beaches cleaner, our air less polluted and our wildlife safer.
 
The timing of the report is incredibly important as it recognises the ‘deregulatory agenda’ of a UK Government that continues to drop heavy hints about what would happen to our environmental rules if we quit the EU. Ministers are trying their best to water down air pollution rules, the Chancellor believes the EU nature laws place ‘ridiculous costs’ on British firms and, most worryingly of all, the Government is vigorously stripping away support for clean energy and renewable technology in the UK.
Whether you live in a city or a small village, the EU provides important safeguards which affect our daily lives and those of our children. It’s all too easy to take these protections for granted. But with a referendum around the corner, we all need to think carefully about how European law affects our lives and our country.”
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