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Additional quotes on environmental legal principles

Additional Link member quotes on relating to environmental and animal welfare principles post-Brexit. The associated press release can be found here.

15 November 2017

Ralph Armond, Director General of ZSL, said: ‘Independently of whether one voted to remain or to leave the EU, no one voted for poorer environmental protections and further loss of biodiversity. There is a clear consensus in the environmental sector that the Withdrawal Bill, as drafted, represents a threat to our ability to safeguard nature for future generations. Revisions are urgently needed, and we hope MPs will back the essential proposed amendments.’

Jen Anderson, Chief Officer of Scottish Environment Links, said: ‘Actions speak louder than words. So while we welcome commitments made by the Scottish and UK governments regarding the need to support EU environmental principles and address the environmental governance gap, what we now need is for MPs to make the relevant changes in the EU Withdrawal Bill. Similar action needs to be taken in the other parliaments of the UK. Members of the Scottish Parliament must also prioritise the protection of our environment.’

Kit Stoner, joint-CEO of the Bat Conservation Trust, said: ‘We are encouraged by the government’s wish to deliver a green Brexit and the Environment Secretary’s plan to make sure that appropriate statutory enforcement is in place. In order for these goals to be meaningful there is an urgent need to make sure that our environmental laws and the principles that underpin them are maintained or enhanced as part of the (EU) Withdrawal Bill. MPs have the opportunity to speak up for all their constituents and every citizen of the UK by defending the environmental laws that ultimately benefit all of us.’

Jenny Hawley, Senior Policy Officer at Plantlife, said: ‘Amid the bluster and rhetoric around Brexit negotiations, the case of the imperilled Fen orchid brings into sharp focus what’s really at stake for our environment. European legislation played a critical role in saving this weeny wetland warrior at Catfield Fen in Norfolk in 2016. Without the precautionary principle, this rare and beautiful plant would have been pushed to the brink of extinction. Such protections must be enshrined in UK law if we are to safeguard the future of endangered plants.’

Dr Nigel Bourn, Director of Conservation Science and Policy at Butterfly Conservation, said: ‘Without doubt the European protection given to Catfield Fen and the precautionary principle ensured this internationally important wildlife site was protected from further water extradition. The Withdrawal Bill needs to enshrine these principals or we could lose many sites in future.’

Sarah Dolman, Wildlife and Dolphin Conservation End Bycatch Programme Lead, said: ‘Our oceans are already polluted with plastic, noise and chemicals; the UKs dolphins, porpoises and whales also face incidental entanglement in fishing gear, boat disturbance and ship strikes, we cannot afford to relax our environmental protections. Indeed, we need to seize the opportunity to go further and secure the chance to restore our oceans so all species of marine life can thrive.’

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust & Fish Legal, said: ‘The precautionary and polluter-pays principles are fundamental pillars of a legal structure which has protected the environment from damage on countless occasions over the decades. It is unthinkable that a government which claims to want to be the first to leave the environment in a better state for the next generation could consider ditching these vital protections. If we are to achieve this ambitious objective, we should be strengthening environmental laws, rather than undermining their very foundations.’

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