Are you getting a bit bored with Brexit? You are aren’t you?
I confess to feeling a little that way myself sometimes but I always shake myself out of it – and so I’m writing this to shake you out of it too.
Brexit will be a disaster for wildlife – it doesn’t necessarily have to be, you will be told, but in practice it will be, I am telling you.
If we crash out with no deal then on 30 March, that’s in less than 18 weeks’ time, the Habitats and Birds Directives (and other things too) will cease to apply in UK law and we will have to rely on their transpositions into UK laws for environmental protection. And although we are told by the likes of Michael Gove that everything will remain the same on Day 1 nobody makes promises about Day 10, Day 100 or even Day 365.
If we have a transition period then we keep the Directives for longer and I am really not completely sure what happens after that because it may well depend on what conditions we would have to meet in order to trade freely with the EU.
You’re yawning again aren’t you? Oh dear – my fault. Just because this is important doesn’t, of itself, make it interesting, does it?
I believe, and so do almost all the nature conservationists I know, that leaving the EU will be a disaster for our already-damaged wildlife. The wildlife NGOs can’t shout about that because it’s too political (and so are missing from the scene of the most important environmental choice of our time) but they are shouting about the framework we need to hold government to account when we lose our greatest means of holding government to account, namely being members of the EU. We have no certainty of getting a good framework for the future – in fact, under this government we have every expectation of getting a very poor one. That’s what you have to look forward to – weaker, much weaker, environmental protection.
I don’t want to leave the EU and I don’t apologise for that. I think it would be a disaster – on many grounds not simply environmental ones. That’s why I voted Remain and my view has hardened considerably since the referendum. With a passion, I want to Remain.
Now you might say that the pople voted to leave, and they surely did, but so what? The people voted to stay in the EC in 1975 and that hasn’t stopped the Brexit supporters from campaigning long and hard to get us out, has it? They would say, I’ve heard them, that the situation is very different now with a larger EU and a more political union and that therefore the people should decide. It’s a point of view. But what’s sauce for the goose etc and the situation has changed very dramatically since the weeks before the referendum so we deserve the chance to have another think.
Things have changed – the promises of the Brexiteers have been shown to be utter hot air (and indeed downright lies in many cases), the vote seems to have been tampered with through illegal behaviour and the behaviour of many leading pro-Brexit MPs has shown them to be an untrustworthy rabble. The Brexit deal is rubbish and it doesn’t look like MPs are able, partly because of the two-party system meaning that Labour is playing politics, to sort it out.
So, yes, let’s have another referendum – and that’s why I do support the #peoplesvote campaign. And if we did, then for heaven’s sake, and our own, and that of the disenfranchised nature around us, let us vote to Remain.