Brexit and environmental standards

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Bird on a Fire
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Brexit and environmental standards

Post by Bird on a Fire » Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:18 pm

Despite continued assurances that Brexit wouldn't mean a decline in environmental standards, the current environment minister is making noises about scrapping fundamental environmental legislation in order to (supposedly) boost trade post-Brexit:
Ministers are considering excluding free ports from rules protecting birds and wildlife habitats – protections which George Eustice, the environment secretary, has previously attacked as being “spirit-crushing” and pledged to scrap.

Andrew Dodd, head of casework for the RSPB, said: “Removing those protections would be disastrous for the wildlife in those areas and a massive backward step in the way the UK looks after its most important wildlife places. It would undo a lot of the positive work that the ports sector has done with major environmental organisations over the last 20 years.”

Birds and habitats regulations derive from two EU directives which Eustice said during the referendum campaign “would go” in the event of Brexit. They are among rules that Boris Johnson has derided as “newt-counting delays” which hold up his Project Speed ambitions to “build, build, build”. The regulations enabled the creation of hundreds of special areas of conservation and special protection areas, which green groups say have delivered essential protections for Britain’s green spaces and wildlife such as the Humber estuary with its population of grey seals.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... grey-seals

Obviously this is exactly the kind of lowering of standards that the EU has been worrying about since day 1, as EU ports would continue to follow that legislation, totally pissing all over the idea of a 'level playing field'.

But the Johnson government seems far keener to sign deals with environment-trashing economies like the USA, so there is in fact a serious risk that the UK is going to sell nature down the river to try to alleviate impending economic doom.
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Bird on a Fire
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Re: Brexit and environmental standards

Post by Bird on a Fire » Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:24 pm

It's perhaps worth noting that ports is one area where industry and the environmental sector have been working reasonably well together.

In the landmark case of the Dibden Bay proposal in Southampton Water in the mid-90s, ABP attempted to basically get around the fact that their proposed location was a hugely important internationally-protected area. They ultimately spent £40m trying to fight the case, which went to judicial review, and they ultimately lost, wiping a further £60m off their share price.

After that they called in a bunch of environmental orgs and asked them how to avoid that sort of thing happening again, and the answer was to involve conservationists earlier on in the planning process to make sure that their proposals were not just legal but decent practice. This has allowed ports to continue to operate, expand, and perform management like dredging, while also safeguarding, managing or creating new compensatory habitat.

Obviously it would be a lot cheaper for them not to bother, though.
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Lew Dolby
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Re: Brexit and environmental standards

Post by Lew Dolby » Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:34 pm

Nobody should be surprised.

We've all known since 2016 that the Tories intended to bin workers' rights, comsumer rights, environmental protection and a whole load more.

Pretty much every piece of Brexit-related legislation to come before parliament got opposition amendments to protect/maintain those things. Every time, the Tories voted down the amendments while claiming they didn't intend to trash them protections.

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Re: Brexit and environmental standards

Post by Little waster » Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:15 pm

Lew Dolby wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:34 pm
Nobody should be surprised.

We've all known since 2016 that the Tories intended to bin workers' rights, comsumer rights, environmental protection and a whole load more.

Pretty much every piece of Brexit-related legislation to come before parliament got opposition amendments to protect/maintain those things. Every time, the Tories voted down the amendments while claiming they didn't intend to trash them protections.
And yet every time the so-called Lexiteers skipped through the government lobby with massive grins on their faces, arm-in-arm with Patel and Rees-Mogg, proudly boasting of what a good job they were doing sticking up for the clear, democratically-expressed and unanimous wish of their constituents and socialism and no they would not be seeking re-election as it would be unfair to the other candidates to allow a grateful electorate to express their heart-felt thanks.
Shamelessly recycling old jokes since 1952.

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