Dr Richard Dixon, Director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, has responded to the Scottish Government’s paper “Scotland’s Place in Europe,” with the following statements.
“We welcome these proposals from the Scottish Government, which clearly put protecting our environment and co-operation on reducing climate change emissions at the heart of Scotland’s position on Europe.
This is a good set of proposals which safeguard many of the benefits of our current European membership
“If we really are embarking on the risky adventure of leaving the EU then this is a good set of proposals which safeguard many of the benefits of our current European membership including environmental protections, free movement of people and consumer rules that protect us from harmful chemicals in food and other products.
“The vote to leave the EU is a huge challenge to decades of progress on improving the environment and working together to tackle climate change. The Scottish Government has already made welcome commitments to maintain current environmental protections and to continue to work together on climate change, and these are strongly re-inforced in these proposals and in today’s statements from the First Minister.”
Commenting on today’s (Tuesday 20 December) publication of Scotland’s Place in Europe by the Scottish Government, Jonny Hughes, Chief Executive of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, said:
“We welcome the statement today from the Scottish Government that ‘Scotland has a moral and legal obligation to protect our country’s magnificent natural resources and we remain committed to maintaining, protecting and enhancing our environment.’
“Regardless of the shape of any future Brexit deal between the UK and the European Union, the Scottish Wildlife Trust believes that, at a minimum, the body of environmental legislation so carefully developed over decades by the EU and transposed into Scottish law must continue to be implemented in Scotland by the Scottish Government. This is vital if we are to safeguard vulnerable wildlife, ensure the health and productivity of our seas, and provide a quality environment which brings economic and well-being benefits for the people of Scotland.
“Today’s statement from the Scottish Government is an important and very welcome assurance on long term investment to maintain environmental standards in what are politically uncertain times.”