Brexit will not put our countryside, our marine environment, or our wildlife at risk. The idea that our membership of the EU has been only good for our environment is quite simply false. In some ways we have benefited, but in others our natural environment has suffered as a consequence of EU policy.
The EU’s Common Agricultural Policy has damaged our countryside. The Common Fisheries Policy has devastated fish stocks around our coastline. The way the EU – and our government – embraced diesel proved to be disastrous, even fatal. The Water Framework Directive led to serious flooding in many parts of the country by preventing river dredging. Repealing this directive will spare homeowners the misery of flooding and exorbitant insurance premiums.
UKIP will promote evidence-based environmental schemes, and safeguard protection for Britain’s wildlife, nature reserves, areas of outstanding natural beauty, countryside, and coastlines in a new Environmental Protection Act, prioritising policies to protect our precious countryside for future generations.
PROTECTING OUR ANCIENT WOODLANDS
Current legislation does not go far enough in protecting natural woodland habitats. We will amend the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to give ancient woodlands ‘wholly exceptional’ status, putting them on a par with listed buildings, registered parks and gardens, and World Heritage Sites.
Major infrastructure projects will be required to give much more respect to irreplaceable natural habitats. HS2 is a prime example of this: we will scrap HS2 and ensure no infrastructure project will ever again be allowed permission to wreak such catastrophic environmental damage.
CREATING SMALL GREEN SPACES
UKIP will amend planning legislation to promote inclusion of trees and open space into new developments. The need to build new homes must be countered by the human need to breathe in open, green spaces. We will also require new developments to use permeable or porous surfacing materials for single-storey, ground level domestic car parking and front gardens, so rainwater can drain away to help prevent flooding. Figures analysed by the RAC Foundation show some seven million front gardens now contain concrete and cars rather than flowers and grass, a total space roughly equivalent to 100 Hyde Parks or 72 Olympic Parks.
GENERAL ELECTION DAY IS WORLD OCEANS DAY
32 million single-use plastic bottles are used every day in the UK. 16 million go directly to landfill or end up as litter. The Marine Conservation Society estimates around 160 plastic bottles per mile are scattered on our beaches. After years of sunlight and pounding waves, they break down into microplastics which are ingested by plankton, shellfish, shrimp, fish, birds, turtles, other sea animals and ultimately humans. We will investigate the practicality of introducing a deposit scheme on plastic drinks bottles to encourage recycling.
WE STAND BY OUR 2015 MANIFESTO PLEDGES TO:
- Prioritise brownfield rather than greenfield or agricultural land for new housing
- Support farming and wildlife though grant schemes prioritising the preservation of natural habitats
- Match fund grants made by local authorities for rural capital projects which enhance the local environment or help recovery from environmental disasters
- Protect dolphins by banning the use of pair trawling for sea bass
- Offer local referenda to overturn unpopular development approvals
“After Britain leaves the European Union, UKIP will review all EU environment legislation. We will review all current EU environmental rules, keeping those which have enhanced our environment, such as improving the cleanliness of our seas and beaches, and amend or repeal legislation which can be shown to have had a detrimental effect”.
Dr Julia Reid MEP, Environment Spokeswoman