On June 23rd 2016 voters across the UK went to the polls. But this wasn’t just a vote for a local council, or even the Government. The British were about the vote in the EU referendum. In contrast to electoral votes this event saw people voting on whether to stay in the EU or go it alone. Everyone knew that the result of this referendum would be final. This wasn’t like voting in a Prime Minister. When a bad decision would only mean up to 5 years with them in power. So, when the results of the vote were released on June 24th it became very clear that the UK would be leaving the EU for good.
What does Brexit mean for the environment?
One of the central subjects of debate in the run up to the referendum was that of immigration. Nigel Farage and his fellow Brexiteers were also keen to stress the financial gains the UK would see. With claims that the country would be so much better off after detaching itself from the rest of the EU. But little was said about the environment, and what Brexit would mean for the UK’s green policies. But groups fighting for a greener planet are getting worried about new legislation. The WWF’s director of advocacy stressed his concerns because the ‘majority of environmental protections derive from the EU’. But will Theresa May, and her Government, be able to incorporate these ideals into new UK laws?
What is being done to prevent environmental decline?
Environmentalists are often labelled as hippies, but now they are standing their ground and making themselves heard. Fearing what Brexit may mean for the UK, now that Article 50 has finally been invoked, they’re standing their ground. Greenpeace and WWF, along with green organisations and even high profile celebrities, have sent a letter to Theresa May. This letter urges the British PM to uphold previous pledges to leave a better environment for future generations. It then continued to stress the work needed to prevent environmental decline. A Government spokesperson has retorted ‘The Government also has a clear ambition to be the first generation to leave the natural environment in a better state than we found it’. But whether or not they do is a matter yet to be seen.