FREE LINE 03 - Page 6

Government looks set to rethink
Brexit Bill’s ‘missing’ EU protections
Angling Trust Campaigns Chief Martin Salter was up in Parliament this
week pressing MPs of all parties to
get behind moves to reinstate the
‘missing’ environmental protections
in the government’s Brexit Bill that
are so vital for fish and wildlife. There
are some signs that the pressure is
paying off.
Martin held meetings with Conservative MPs Charles Walker, Scott
Mann and Richard Benyon from the
All Party Parliamentary Angling
Group as well as Labour’s Shadow
Environment Secretary Sue Hayman.
The Angling Trust is pushing to
amend the EU Withdrawal Bill to
include key environmental protections like ‘polluter pays’ and the ‘precautionary principle’ which have
been omitted.
Martin Salter said: “At the moment
we have a complete reversal of the
government’s previous commitment
to enshrine current EU environmental
protections into UK law as part of the
Brexit process. The precautionary
principle sets a benchmark to guide
both policy and development proposals from doing harm to the environment whilst polluter pays is a vital
deterrent to those who would seek to
damage our rivers, streams and estuaries and the fish and wildlife they
Angling Trust Chief Executive
Mark Lloyd added: “The precautionary and polluter-pays principles are
fundamental pillars of a legal structure which has protected the environment from damage on countless
occasions over the decades. It is
unthinkable that a government that
claims to want to be the first to leave
the environment in a better state for
the next generation could consider
ditching these vital protections. If we
are to achieve this ambitious objec-
Angling Trust Campaign Chief Martin Salter presents Sue Hayman MP, Labour’s Shadow
Environment Secretary, with her copy of the Fishing Lines briefing.
tive, we should be strengthening
environmental laws, rather than
undermining their very foundations.”
On Thursday, in answer to a Parliamentary Question from Sue Hayman
M P, t h e E n v i r o n m e n t S e c r e t a r y
Michael Gove appeared to signal a
government rethink saying: “….there
have been welcome environmental
protections, which we have helped to
develop while we have been in the
EU. I want to work with her, as I am
working with others, to ensure that
people can guarantee that the protec-
tions that they value stay in place.”
Charles Walker MP has sent a
strongly worded letter backing the
Angling Trust’s stance and a special
Fishing Lines briefing covering this
and other fisheries issues is being
mailed out to MPs this week.
The Angling Trust will continue to
work with other organisations including Greener UK and the Blueprint for
Water Coalition to ensure that both
the precautionary and polluter-pays
principles are retained to protect fish
and wildlife. n


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