EU Referendum: Questions to ask

Posted on 20th June 2016

If you care about wildlife, you may want to ask any canvassers you meet some questions.



To Canvassers promoting Remain


If I promise to vote Remain, will you promise if the UK stays in the EU, to:

1. Support existing EU Nature Directives actively at a European level and ensure good implementation in the UK?
[There is great pressure for deregulation both in the UK and at EU levels]

2. Implement EU laws well to ensure protection of our marine wildlife?
[At last we are seeing some real controls on damaging fisheries where the seabed has EU protection. And six new protected areas for harbour porpoise are being proposed by the UK Government because of the threat of EU legal action.]

3. Press for 15% of EU agricultural funding coming to the UK to go towards helping farmland wildlife?
[The UK could divert up to 15% of Common Agricultural Policy payments to environmental schemes, but only the Welsh government does this at the moment. England diverts 12%, Scotland 9.5% and Northern Ireland 0%.].

4. Press for further reform of EU Common Fisheries and Common Agricultural Policies for the benefit of wildlife?
[Both were once extremely damaging, both have been substantially reformed but could still do more for wildlife.]

5. Invest in meeting EU standards for air and water quality?
[The Bathing Waters Directive and Water Framework Directive have driven and continue to drive the clean up of our seas and rivers.]


To Canvassers promoting Leave

If I promise to vote Leave, will you promise in the event of a Brexit to:

1. Ensure at least the same level of legal protection for wildlife across the UK as provided for in the Nature Directives?
[Since 2010 the government has been trying to cut back “red tape” but EU laws have prevented them]

2. Ensure at least the same level of protection for our seabed and marine wildlife by regulating damaging activities in current and proposed marine protected areas?
[Our marine habitats designated as Special Areas for Conservation and Specially Protected Areas under EU law are at last benefiting from some protection. We can’t afford to lose this.]

3. Invest the equivalent of 15% of the current agricultural support budget in wildlife friendly farming?
[The Treasury has consistently pushed back against spend on wildlife friendly farming, despite it currently being part funded by the EU. Without this EU contribution and in the current economic climate budgets for habitat creation on farms will be under threat.]

4. Manage our fisheries in line with EU targets for Maximum Sustainable Yield; sustain the EU ban on neonicitinoid pesticides and ensure any payments to farmers are contingent on meeting strong environmental standards?
[The UK Government would need to ensure recent progress with the CFP is not lost. The UK argued against the current EU ban on the use of the neonicitinoid pesticides which harm bees. If we leave the UK must not lose the conditions currently attached to farmers receiving agricultural subsidy.]

5. Ensure that our rivers and seas continue to be cleaned up for swimmers and wildlife in line with EU laws?
[The Bathing Waters Directive and Water Framework Directive have driven and continue to drive the clean up of our seas and rivers.]

Wildlife is too important to ignore in the EU referendum debate

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