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City’s Lib Dems seek maintenance of protection for Southampton’s EU-protected natural sites post-Brexit

December 2, 2017 9:48 PM
By Southampton Liberal Democrats

In letters to MPs Royston Smith and Alan Whitehead, Southampton Liberal Democrats have called for the protection of some of the city's most-loved natural sites to be maintained as the UK leaves the EU.

Much of Southampton Water, parts of the River Itchen and Weston Shore are among areas protected by the EU's Habitats and Birds Directives. Yet with two key factors in the UK's environmental protection - the precautionary principle and the polluter pays principle - being omitted from the EU Withdrawal Bill, there are significant concerns that environmental protection could be threatened by Brexit.

Parliamentary spokesperson for Southampton Test, Thomas Gravatt commented:

"If safeguards for the environment are not guaranteed as we leave the EU then there are significant risks for many of the region's much-loved natural environments".

His counterpart in Southampton Itchen, Eleanor Bell, emphasised:

"It is vital for the future well-being of Southampton and its people that sites such as Weston Shore and the Itchen estuary are not threatened by Brexit. Their protection is our first priority".