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Brexit: A blessing or a curse for wildlife and agriculture in England?

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Brexit could be disastrous for wildlife protection and agriculture in the UK. This is what a small environmental audit committee fears. Indeed, the departure of the EU would bring down whole swathes of regulations put in place over the years to protect the environment and defend farmers. Many of the provisions governing food production and the environment in the UK could become 'zombie legislation'. Other voices are calling for a unique opportunity to be seized with Brexit: that of building an innovative system to protect the environment and farmers' work. Brexit, opportunity or calamity?
 
L’alert comes from the UK's Select Committee on Environmental Auditing. In a report published on 21 December, the authors warn parliamentarians that many of the provisions governing food production and the environment in the United Kingdom come from European legislation. The circumstances of Brexit will lead to a weakening of these rules which would harm not only the environment, agriculture, by reducing the viability of farms, but also food safety itself. The rapporteurs therefore call on MEPs to prepare new legislation before Article 50 is triggered, marking the start of the process of exit from the European Union. In this respect, the rapporteurs recall the British Government's commitment "to ensure that the European Union's food safety standards are respected". to be the first generation to leave the environment in better shape than they found it. ".
 
Mary Creagh, the Chair of the Audit Committee points out that "The changes brought about by Brexit could put our countryside, agriculture and wildlife at risk. ». The protection of the environment and in particular wildlife is currently guaranteed across the Channel by European regulations. In the event of leaving the Union, the European provisions would find themselves in a state of "...". zombie legislation "she says.
 
The report refers to more than 800 pieces of EU legislation and regulations currently in force in the UK covering wildlife, water quality, agriculture, food and fisheries. Parliamentarians face the difficult task of transposing these rules into UK law. It will not be an easy task and already some MEPs estimate that a good third of these provisions cannot be transposed.
 
Daily life The Guardian reports the words of Vicki Hird of the NGO Sustain, which works for better food and improved agriculture: " MEPs have correctly identified, she says, the enormous risk of Brexit for farms and the environment. ». It calls for the implementation of environmental safeguards to protect the natural environment (soil, pollinators, water) on which all agriculture depends.
 
The conservative think-tank Bright Blue believes that the new bill should go even further than the existing one by increasing the level of ambition in relation to the environment, with, in particular, stricter pollution controls. Will British parliamentarians seize this opportunity to become a model for the environment and agricultural production?
 
 

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