European Union elections 2019 – will the environment win?
Ahead of polling day on Thursday 23rd May, Manchester Friends of the Earth are inviting all North West MEP candidates to let their voters know their views on 10 key environmental questions. We will publish the results as they come in (see below).
Why are Manchester Friends of the Earth asking MEP election candidates questions about environment issues?
Over 80% of the UK’s environmental laws come from the European Union (EU). Brexit’s main environmental risk is the possibility that these EU protections might be lost or weakened if we’re outside the EU. Some laws might not be faithfully transferred, while others could be made easier to scrap in the future.
It’s not just our environmental laws that are at risk. The legal mechanisms to properly implement and enforce them also originate in the EU. Brexit could leave us with gaps in our environmental protections and difficulties in enforcing our laws.
What are the environmental risks of Brexit?
In 2018, Friends of the Earth commissioned an independent academic report to identify the environmental risks for the UK after Brexit. UK Environmental Policy Post-Brexit: A Risk Analysis confirms that environmental laws could be weakened. Birds and wildlife habitats are at risk in a range of post-Brexit scenarios. The report shows the government’s 25-year environment plan is short on detail – and weaker than EU laws in some areas. Plus, without an independent watchdog, it can’t hold the government to account.
These risks are even greater if we leave the EU without a deal. A no-deal Brexit wouldn’t give the government enough time to update our environmental protections so that they work properly after exit day.
Friends of the Earth is campaigning for:
• The UK’s environmental laws to stay as strong as, or stronger than, those in the rest of Europe
• The UK to be an international leader on climate change
• Any farming or land subsidies to be based on public good, for example improving biodiversity or better flood protection
• The UK to keep working with our European and international neighbours on our joint environmental challenges.
Manchester Friends of the Earth believes passionately in democracy. We’ll continue campaigning for the best environmental outcomes for all people, in the UK and abroad.
Whatever happens next with Brexit, we need strong environmental laws. And candidates who are elected as a Member of the European Parliament will have influence on both the European and United Kingdom parliaments.
We wouldn’t dream of telling people which way to vote but we think voters have the right to know where candidates stand on key environmental issues that will affect all our lives, such as climate change and air pollution.
Complete the survey (candidates only)
If the candidates you would to see responses from haven’t responded yet you can Tweet them to ask them to take part .
You can also view the full list of questions, including background information.
Who has responded so far?