Skip to main content

Brexit deal bad for the environment

Environment groups have warned that Boris Johnson withdrawal agreement would be profoundly bad for the environment. 

It would be easy enough to think Boris Johnson's deal is pretty much the same as Theresa May's apart from arrangements for the border with Northern Ireland.   As ever, the devil is in the detail.   This is not Mrs May's deal wrapped in tinsel.   It would be profoundly worse for environmental protection. 

In the struggle to avoid a catastrophic no-deal exit, we should not take our eye off the ball. Merely adding a referendum to a profoundly lousy deal would be a dangerous strategy.   

If there is to be a referendum on the current withdrawal agreement, then it will need considerable amendment as it passes through parliament.  It requires detailed scrutiny.  

Theresa May's deal had binding commitments to maintain environmental standards during the transition period.   This commitment has been stripped out from Boris Johnson's deal.  

That is no accident.  It is a deliberate move to make it easier to make trade deals with lower environmental standards. 

Craig Bennett, Friends of the Earth chief executive, has said the Withdrawal Deal is a significant threat to the environment.


"The removal of the backstop from the UK means that from December 2020 there will be nothing to ensure that vital protection for nature and people won't merely be whittled away to please big business or traded for a quick and dirty trade deal with Donald Trump.

"The government keep promising that Brexit and future trade deals won't lead to a slashing of environmental protection, but they consistently refuse to put in place the legal means to stop that happening."

The opposition must insist, not only that no-deal is taken off the table, but that environmental standards are maintained in any withdrawal agreement.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ian Duncan-Smith says he wants to make those on benefits 'better people'!

By any account, the government's austerity strategy is utilitarian. It justifies its approach by the presumed potential ends. It's objective is to cut the deficit, but it has also adopted another objective which is specifically targeted. It seeks to drive people off benefits and 'back to work'.  The two together are toxic to the poorest in society. Those least able to cope are the most affected by the cuts in benefits and the loss of services. It is the coupling of these two strategic aims that make their policies ethically questionable. For, by combining the two, slashing the value of benefits to make budget savings while also changing the benefits system, the highest burden falls on a specific group, those dependent on benefits. For the greater good of the majority, a minority group, those on benefits, are being sacrificed; sacrificed on the altar of austerity. And they are being sacrificed in part so that others may be spared. Utilitarian ethics considers the ba

Mr Duncan-Smith offers a disingenuous and divisive comparison

Some time ago, actually it was a long time ago when I was in my early teens, someone close to me bought a table. It was an early flat pack variety. It came with a top and four legs. He followed the instructions to the letter screwing the legs into the top. But when he had completed it the table wobbled. One leg he explained was shorter than the other three; so he sawed a bit from each of the other legs. The table wobbled. One leg, he explained, was longer than the other three. So, he sawed a bit off. The table wobbled. He went on cutting the legs, but the table continued to wobble. Cut, cut, cut! By this time he had convinced himself there was no alternative to it.  He ended up with a very low table indeed, supported by four very stumpy legs and a bit of cardboard placed under one of them to stop it wobbling on the uneven floor.  Mr Duncan-Smith argues that we need a 1% cap on benefits to be 'fair to average earners'. Average  earners have seen their incomes rise by less tha

His way or none? Why I can't vote for Jeremy

There is an assumption that all would be well with the Labour Party if people hadn't expressed their genuine concern with what they consider the inadequacies of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership. If only, it is said, the Parliamentary Labour Party and his Shadow Cabinet had supported him, instead of undermining him, all would have been fine. If they had been quiet and towed the line, then the party would not have been in the mess it is in. So, should they have stayed silent, or speak of their concerns? There comes a point when the cost of staying silent outweighs the cost of speaking out. This is a judgment. Many call it a coup by the PLP. They paint a picture of a right-wing PLP out of touch with the membership.  This is the narrative of the Corbyn camp. But Jeremy Corbyn, over the decades he has been in politics, showed the way.  It was Jeremy Corbyn who opposed almost all Labour leaders and rarely held back from speaking out, or voting time and again against the party line. As