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Brexit may have has dominated the headlines for months but the crescendo is rapidly approaching: Tuesday’s vote in parliament will decide whether Theresa’s May’s plan stands or falls. But there are still a plethora of options on the table: from May to Norway, backing the deal to amending it, voting it down to calling for a People’s Vote, the choice is anything but clear.
But whatever happens, one thing is certain: a ‘no-deal’ would be a disaster for the environment and should be taken off the table.
The world is warming. Climate chaos is already impacting people and wildlife in the UK. Our birds, animals and nature are in rapid decline. We’re seeing the end of species in our lifetime. We know our environment isn’t in the best shape already. And we know the UK would still be the ‘dirty man of Europe’ if it wasn’t for EU legislation. Our membership of the EU resulted in the government improving air quality, implementing protections for special natural habitats and species, and taking action to prevent companies in the UK flushing raw sewage straight out into our seas. This is, in part, why new research from Professor Charlotte Burns shows that a ‘no deal’ Brexit would be catastrophic for the UK’s environment.
There would be some dramatic and immediate consequences of crashing out of the EU on March 29. The government has admitted that they haven’t got all the practical arrangements in place to deal with these. In fact, they’ve been forced to confess there are some they’ve barely even planned for. From delays checking food and animals at ports and the implications of this for food and welfare standards, to increased air pollution in Kent following lengthy border queues and the transformation of Dover into a car park, or waste and recycling piling up when the UK can no longer export its rubbish to Europe, our environment would face an immediate precipice. And of course, there are big questions around the…