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Green Alliance warns of upland farming threat from 'hard Brexit'

Chief Executive of the Green Alliance Shaun Spiers argues that the environmental consequences of the UK crashing out of the EU with ‘no deal’ will be severe.

Shaun Spiers comments that if negotiations between the UK and EU fail, there will be an immediate hard border with the EU. He quotes Tom Burke from E3G arguing that we will be “exposed to an economic hurricane” and that economic pressures will “wash away all the warm words and environmental ambition we have been promised in a tsunami of deregulation”.

Among the environmental impacts of a ‘no deal’ hard Brexit, Shaun Spiers suggests the following risks, that:

  • Upland farming will be under threat from imposition of tariffs on over 50 per cent on exported lamb and beef.
  • Countryside around our ports will be turned into huge lorry parks, with extensive delays due to new border checks.
  • New landfill sites or incinerators to take the 3.6 million tonnes of waste that the UK currently sends every year to EU countries.
  • In the longer term, the UK would drop out of REACH, the system for regulating European chemicals and the internal energy market and the Emissions Trading Scheme – putting up energy prices and setting back progress on renewables.

Spiers notes that “’Taking back control’ really does present the chance for big improvements in farming, fisheries, some aspects of environmental governance and in other areas,” but concludes that “The environmental consequences of crashing out will be severe. Many of them will be felt most severely in those areas of the country that voted to leave. We need to challenge those politicians who, on the basis of minimal thinking and excessive faith, pretend that no deal will be pain free.”

The comments come in a new blog published on the Green Alliance ‘Inside Track’ website.

 


30/11/2017
Brexit

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Brexit: We stand at a cross-roads. When the UK leaves the European Union, will our leaders uphold good standards for our food, farming, fishing and trade deals? And will they agree a sensible deal with the EU? We need to make sure that they do!

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Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.