UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources


UCL ISR Director joins colleagues in warning over EU exit

28 January 2016

Bluebell Wood C Freeimages

Prof Paul Ekins OBE, Professor of Resource and Environmental Economics and Director of the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources, has joined colleagues from a range of environmental fields in warning the UK government that an exit from the Europe Union (EU) would be damaging for Britain's environment.

In an open letter to Liz Truss MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the signatories say "Britain’s membership of the European Union has had a hugely positive effect on the quality of Britain’s beaches, our water and rivers, our air and for many of our rarest birds, plants and animals and their habitats".

They add that being a Member State has allowed the UK to be part of a movement to implement co-ordinated and agreed policies across the EU, progress that has only been made possible by Member States working together.

The letter goes on to say "The environmental rules of engagement with the EU after Brexit are very uncertain ... We would no longer be able to shape EU policy and our influence on the environmental performance of other member states would decline very sharply once we were no longer at the negotiating table."

Other signatories to the letter include Professor Sir John Lawton CBE FRS, former chair of the Royal Commission on Environment and Pollution, former chief executive, Natural Environment Research Council; Lord Chris Smith, former chair, Environment Agency; and, Baroness Young of Old Scone, former chief executive, Environment Agency and the RSPB.

In the media:

The Independent EU referendum: 'Brexit' poses huge risk to UK's countryside, experts warn