In recent months the UK has been involved in negotiations at a European level about the future of the European Union Habitats and Wild Birds Directives which have led to increased protection for species such as otters, bitterns, beetles and butterflies as well as habitats across the UK.
In a letter to Rory Stewart, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Environment and Rural Affairs, I urged the Minister not to dilute the UK’s environmental protections following the vote to leave the European Union.
The decision to leave the European Union will have implications on our economy, society and our natural environment and it is important that the latter is not forgotten. Over recent months I have had dozens of constituents contact me urging me to lobby the Government to defend the EU Nature Directives. As a result of their campaigning Ministers appeared to be moving in the right direction.
We must now ensure that this positive approach to protecting rare and threatened animal and plant species continues outside the European Union. We should see this as an opportunity to strengthen our nature laws and I hope the Minister is willing to provide the assurances that I, and many across Lancashire, seek.