A new YouGov survey for Friends of the Earth reveals the British public are overwhelmingly in favour of keeping or strengthening EU rules that protect our natural environment – including Britain’s under-threat bees.
The environmental campaign group is calling on the UK Government to guarantee that its Brexit strategy won’t lead to a weakening of environmental protections.
The YouGov survey revealed:
• 83% said Britain should pass laws providing a higher (46%) or the same (37%) level of protection for wild areas and wildlife species than current EU laws. Only 4% want lower protection.
• 57% said British farming subsidies should put either more (25%) or the same (32%) emphasis on environmental protection than the current EU subsidies do. Only 7% said British farming subsidies should put less emphasis on protecting the environment.
• 81% want to keep an EU ban on neonicotinoid pesticides that have been found to pose a threat to bees, with only 5% saying it should end.
The survey also revealed that those who voted to leave the EU were also strongly in favour of maintaining or increasing the protection for nature that is currently provided by EU legislation, and linking farming subsidies to environment protection.
The poll completely undermines those who argue that Brexit should lead to a watering down of the UK’s environmental commitments.
Friends of the Earth campaigner Samuel Lowe said: “This survey sends a powerful message to the UK Government that EU rules aimed at protecting our natural environment must be maintained or strengthened.
“The poll completely undermines those who argue that Brexit should lead to a watering down of the UK’s environmental commitments. There is little public support for this – even from those who voted to leave the EU.
“The Government must also stand up to pressure from the NFU and keep the EU ban on bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticides. This is what the science says, and the public demands.”