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#StrongerIn: EU-Mitgliedschaft UK Umwelt hilft bewahren, sagen MPs

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Großbritannien StrandA group of MP on the Environmental Audit Committee have come out and said that the UK’s membership in the EU has strongly benefited the UK environment.

Die Umweltprüfungsausschuss said efforts to reduce pollution and boost biodiversity had happened “faster” than otherwise would have been the case, reported BBC News.

Die Mitgliedschaft biete eine Plattform zur Beeinflussung der globalen Klimapolitik.

Ex-Minister Peter Lilley sagte jedoch, die Abgeordneten hätten Beweise ignoriert und den Fall für die Entscheidung von Themen wie Überschwemmungen auf nationaler Ebene nicht angesprochen.

Lilley, der den EU-Austritt befürwortet, veröffentlichte eine abweichende Ansicht, wonach das Vereinigte Königreich auf zwischenstaatlicher Ebene gerne über Umweltgesetze verhandeln und bei einigen internationalen Gremien ein größeres Mitspracherecht haben könnte, indem es einen eigenen Sitz hat, anstatt von der EU vertreten zu werden.

Lilley wurde jedoch von anderen Mitgliedern des Komitees außer Kraft gesetzt, darunter die Labour-Vorsitzende Mary Creagh, die grüne Abgeordnete Caroline Lucas und die Konservativen Peter Aldous und Peter Heaton-Jones.

The committee, the majority of whose members support remaining in the EU, said it hoped its report would “inform debate” on environmental issues ahead of the referendum on EU membership on 23 June.

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‘Cleaner beaches’

It noted that the environment did not feature in any of David Cameron’s demands in his recent re-negotiation of the UK’s membership terms and that the UK was “broadly satisfied” with EU environmental policy.

EU membership had been a “crucial factor” in shaping UK environmental policy over the past 40 years, the committee said, contributing to improved air and water quality standards and better habitat management.

“The UK’s membership of the EU has ensured environmental action was taken on a faster timetable and more thoroughly than would otherwise would have been case,” it said.

At the same time, the report – which did not study the impact of the Common Agricultural Policy or Common Fisheries Policy – said the UK had been a “major player” in influencing the direction of environmental policy at an EU level and in designing specific directives and policies.

While some of those who gave evidence to the committee expressed concerns about how laws were drafted and implemented, and the cost to business of compliance, the MPs said none of them had made an “environmental case for leaving the European Union”.

“EU environmental laws…mean we bathe on cleaner beaches, drive more fuel-efficient cars and can hold the government to account on air pollution,” said Creagh, a former shadow environment secretary.

“Environmental problems don’t respect borders,” she added. “When it comes to protecting our natural environment and dealing with global problems like climate change, the overwhelming evidence is that EU membership has improved the UK’s approach to the environment and ensured that the UK’s environment has been better protected.”

Friends of the Earth welcomed the report, saying the UK’s environment is “best served working together with European partners”.

 

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