I really am struggling to think of anything realistic and positive for the environment that will come out of our Brexit.
Here is an example that would fit beautifully into the Brexiteers’ suggestion that we could do so much better when we regain control of our own destiny – but it simply won’t happen, I presume.
Let’s take marine fisheries. I’m no expert, so this scenario may be rather adrift from reality – like the political system itself at the moment – but it’s still an interesting area to explore.
Let’s imagine that we can now regulate fishing pressure in our waters much more effectively because we have our salty marine sovereignty back. It is a widely acknowledged fact that overfishing is bad for the marine environment in the short and long terms, and bad for marine fishermen in the long term but good for them in the short term. That is the crux of the problem – people are rather bad at delayed gratification, particularly if they think that somebody else is making hay (or whatever is its marine quivalent) while the sun shines and they aren’t. And so fishery after fishery across the world has been damaged by overfishing because that has been in the short term interests of fishermen – who don’t believe in experts like biologists.
But, when we regain our salty sovereignty we could call a 5-year moratorium on much fishing in our territorial waters, pay fishermen to remain idle with all that dosh that we aren’t giving to faceless eurocrats anymore, restore our fish stocks and then let our fishermen free to fish much more successfully in future. And every time our fishermen took no notice of the experts, which they won’t, and overfished the stocks, we could bring in, with our regained salty sovereignty, another 5-year moratorium, this time uncompensated because it would be their own fault.
I’m pretty sure that this was what Boris and Gove and Farage were thinking so let’s see them get on and do it. It will be a fascinating test case in salty sovereignty.