James MacColl, Head of Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns, at The Ramblers, said: “This bill is a threat to the nature that we all want to enjoy when we get outdoors, and which is so vital for our wellbeing. Scrap it now.”
Kit Stoner, CEO of Bat Conservation Trust, said: “The UK has lost almost half of its biodiversity since the 1970s, with over a quarter of UK mammals now at risk of extinction, including several bat species. All bat species have benefited from existing legal protection. Those at risk of extinction may otherwise have already been lost. For other bat species we have been seeing the first signs of a slow recovery but the removal or weakening of legislation will push them back into decline and will cause an accelerated loss of biodiversity. The Retained EU Law Bill will impoverish the country financially, limit our ability to use nature-based solutions and will rob future generations of part of their natural heritage.”
Mark Lloyd, CEO, The Rivers Trust, said: “The EU laws which have been written into UK law are vitally important to protect our environment for people and wildlife. Revoking them now will be a major step backwards and a massive distraction for Defra just at the moment when we need to be focused on taking a giant leap forward to address the biodiversity, climate and water quality emergencies.”
David Bunt, CEO of Institute of Fisheries Management, said: ‘‘This analysis shows that not only is our wildlife and diversity at further risk, but that it will also be a financial loss to our economy. Nature is already in decline and the REUL Bill is likely to accelerate that, contrary to this Government’s 2019 manifesto with high ambition for our natural environment. Salmon, the king of fish, previously recovering from industrial pollution, is now on course to become extinct in the UK in 30 years. That is not just a tragedy for this iconic species, but salmon fishing makes a significant contribution to the £4Bn per year that angling contributes to the UK economy”.
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