As we navigate the aftermath of Brexit, it’s becoming increasingly evident that the promises of preserving and enhancing our environment are being shattered. The decision to leave the EU has unveiled a bleak reality, contradicting the pledges made by ministers.
Broken Promises and Weakened Standards
Amidst the Brexit fervor, there were no bold claims of deteriorating environmental conditions. However, it’s now clear that the “conserve” in Conservative does not extend to our precious natural world. Previously, European directives accounted for a substantial 80% of our environmental laws, ensuring shared standards to prevent pollution and preserve habitats. This collaborative effort also guaranteed that no country suffered economically due to pollution. Yet, post-Brexit, these safeguards have been disregarded, and the pledges to uphold environmental policies have been broken.
A Deceptive Facade
Ministers, including Michael Gove, assured the public that environmental standards would not be compromised post-Brexit. However, these words masked the government’s sweeping powers under the Retained EU Law Act, eliminating significant parliamentary scrutiny of future regulations. The attempt to weaken laws protecting against water pollution is a testament to this deceptive facade.
Deteriorating Conditions and Contradictory Actions
The evidence of environmental degradation post-Brexit is alarming. From weaker air pollution laws to the use of banned chemicals and the allowance of harmful pesticides, the UK’s environmental strategy is unsettling. The decision to permit the use of thiamethoxam, despite prior pledges to ban bee-killing neonicotinoids, exemplifies the contradictory actions that are causing harm to both the environment and public health.
Risking Our Health and Future
The divergence from EU standards has far-reaching implications. The UK’s reluctance to enforce regulations on chemicals that disrupt the hormonal system poses serious health risks
. The approval of carcinogenic chemicals and the disparities in health and safety guidelines have amplified the hazards. Moreover, this deviation has led companies to grapple with different regulatory frameworks, driving businesses away from the UK.
A Regressed Path
The government’s act, prohibiting the strengthening of laws that could “increase the regulatory burden,” has set the stage for the dilution of environmental standards. While the EU progresses towards stronger protections in various crucial areas, the UK has chosen a regressed path, jeopardizing environmental conservation and public well-being.
An Urgent Need for Collaboration
The current predicament following Brexit was not inevitable, yet it is the active choice of the government to use Brexit as a justification for disregarding international collaboration, be it in employment rights, consumer protection, or the environment. The need for collaboration and dynamic alignment of environmental regulations has become more critical than ever to ensure clean air, safe food production, and a sustainable future for the coming generations.
Looking Ahead: A Call for Change
The impact of Brexit on the environment should serve as a clarion call for the government to recognize the significance of collaboration in upholding environmental standards, tackling the climate crisis, and prioritizing sustainable energy cooperation. It’s imperative to address the ramifications of weakened environmental regulations, lest our aspirations for a better future are compromised by deteriorating environmental conditions.
In conclusion, the aftermath of Brexit has unearthed a distressing reality, where environmental conservation has taken a backseat. The imperative now is to reevaluate the approach towards environmental policies and rekindle the spirit of collaboration to safeguard our environment and the well-being of the populace.