The proposals to defend the environment after Britain’s exit from the European Union are “far too weak”.
That is the view of the Wildlife Trusts as they press Environment Secretary Michael Gove for a green watchdog to ensure our wildlife receives even better protection after Brexit.
The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and Merseyside added its support to the national body and asked people to get involved in the consultation for two crucial parts of environmental protections after Brexit in England.
The first is for the new green watchdog – an independent regulatory organisation within Government – to enforce our environmental protections as Britain leaves the EU.
And, secondly, the Government needs to keep a set of vital guiding principles on environment protection like the “polluter pays” principle, currently set in EU law.
Senior Conservation Officer (Policy & Advocacy) David Dunlop said: “Environment Secretary Michael Gove and Prime Minister Theresa May have promised a “world-leading” watchdog that will deliver a “green Brexit”.
“But their current proposals are far too weak and will mean our environment is less protected in the future unless significant changes are made to the proposals.”
We need a powerful watchdog that can take the Government to court when it breaks environmental rules”
Now the Trust is urging nature lovers to write to Michael Gove and ask him to tell the Government that the proposals need to be stronger.
David said: “We need a powerful watchdog that can take the Government to court when it breaks environmental rules and to issue fines where necessary.
We need environmental principles clearly set out in law, which all public authorities then have to comply with.
“If the Government is to keep its promise of a “green Brexit”, it must also bring forward new environmental legislation that sets us on the path to nature’s recovery.
“We believe that everyone deserves to live in a healthy, wildlife-rich natural world and experience the joy of wildlife every day. We can’t stand by as our soils are depleted and once familiar animals and plants disappear from our gardens and countryside.
“Our wildlife is sadly declining and now is a key moment to tell the Government that this should change.”