For me and for those who love and respect the planet we inhabit, the EU means an Environment Union too.
Whichever country we live in Europe, we all face threats from air pollution, climate change and habitat loss.
What the EU has done has been is to produce laws to protect our part of the planet, from reducing the risk of industrial pollution to protecting rare birds.
We now all benefit from the biggest programme of environmental legislation in the world.
In the early 80s, the UK was known as ‘the dirty man of Europe’ exporting our acid rain from our coal-fired power stations to Scandinavia, ruining their forests, discharging raw sewage from around all our coasts.
Because of European legislation we have changed our ways so that the Nordic forests have revived and particularly along the south coast we have dozens of beaches meeting the highest standards of cleanliness.
European legislation on the environment may take a long time to come into being but once it is there, it is not unpicked by anyone.
Contrast that with what is happening in the UK where the present government is doing what it can to dismantle the legacy of environmental improvements introduced by the last government.
What is clear to me, however, is that on this issue which is critical to the way we here in Britain enjoy our lives, the case is absolutely clear: we are better able to protect the quality of Britain’s environment if we remain in Europe.
Stephen Hardy MBE
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