The European Union is bad for wildlife. The EU Habitat Regulations are far more severe than home grown legislation. It forces developers to spend many millions of pounds on consultants’ fees each year to enact the EU red tape leaving precious little money for actually conserving wildlife and creating long term habitats. One Natural England officer advised me not to build so many ponds as part of an EU protected species development licence as the landowner would have to pay thousands of pounds in monitoring the newt population for several years. No, it is the EU bureaucracy that insists on unnecessary multiple visits and methods, diverting money from habitat creation into pointless red tape.
Great Crested Newts, a European Protected Species, is super abundant in the UK but apparently rare on the continent. There are many more times Great Crested Newts than there are Foxes for example. The only reason why it is listed as protected is because the EU tells us to protect it. Its legal status causes planning blight because of the massive costs of developing on or near land used by it. Thus a common remedy is to fill ponds in beforehand to ensure there is no planning blight in the future. This means the EU legislation meant to protect the newt is causing its destruction in an attempt to get around the ridiculous, costly red tape. There must be a UK solution to protecting valuable ponds.
You know we would not have Ash Die Back Disease in the UK where it not for the EU single market. We bought diseased trees from badly managed nurseries in Eastern Europe and the UK Government was and remains powerless to ban imports due to the single market.
A year or so back the UK Government introduced laws to ban certain problematic alien pond plants from being sold in the UK as they destroy wetlands when they get into the wild. European aquatic nurseries have been selling tubs of aquatic plants in UK garden centres and these have been infested with the problem plants. DEFRA told me the UK cannot stop these contaminants from coming into the UK as it was contrary to EU law to interfere with trade.
And of course it is true that if you have hundreds of thousands of people coming to live in a country every year you need to build more houses, more schools, roads, hospitals and work places. More development to cater for a larger population means loss of countryside and wildlife. This troubles me deeply.
What about recycling you may ask? Well every western nation now recycles domestic waste. The UK would have had our own recycling policies without the EU. It would just be we would set our own targets.
I save the scrap metal I generate. When I clear up wildlife sites as part of my work I collect the scrap metal. I sell it for cash. This year the price I get has collapsed. The price our local councils get for selling scrap metal from recycling has also crashed. It has crashed because the Chinese have dumped cut price steel on the European marketplace and the UK is not allowed by the EU to place tariffs. Only the EU is allowed to do this and so far it has done nothing whist UK steel plants have closed down.
Taking us out of the EU will end the nonsense red tape around protecting wildlife in the development process allowing so much more to be spent on habitat creation that works, and will prevent disease and unwanted alien plants arriving to damage our wildlife. And an Australian Style Points system will dramatically reduce the need to build new housing and infrastructure allowing British wildlife, landscape and countryside to breathe a collective sigh of relief.
These are just a few of the issues I deal with on a day to day basis that tell me that if you care about the environment and wildlife vote LEAVE. Vote for an independent United Kingdom.