UK Government rejects suggestions it will use Brexit to weaken environmental protection

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 8 December 2016 in News

Jacob Rees-Mogg argues that if an emission target is “good enough in India, it’s good enough for here”

Emissions - credit: Holyrood

The UK Government has rejected suggestions it will use Brexit to weaken environmental protection measures, after a Tory MP argued that if an emission target is “good enough in India, it’s good enough for here”.

The comments, made by Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg at a Treasury Select Committee meeting, came under fire from SNP MP Deidre Brock in PMQs, who claimed they were proof the “real threat posed by a right-wing hard Brexit is becoming clearer by the day”.

Rees-Mogg had told the committee: “We could, if we wanted, accept emissions standards from India, America, and Europe. There’d be no contradiction with that.”


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“We could say, if it’s good enough in India, it’s good enough for here. There’s nothing to stop that. We could take it a very long way. American emission standards are fine – probably in some cases higher.

“I accept that we’re not going to allow dangerous toys to come in from China, we don’t want to see those kind of risks. But there’s a very long way you can go.”

But Leader of the House David Lidington, who was filling in at PMQs in the absence of Theresa May, rejected the idea that the Brexit vote could be used to weaken environmental protection measures.

Responding to a question from Brock, Lidington said: “The Government remain utterly committed to both national and global ambitions and targets on climate change. Indeed, my right honourable friend the Home Secretary [Amber Rudd], in her previous job, played a key role in brokering the Paris agreement last year – the first ever global agreement on climate change.

“I hope that the honourable Lady would welcome the fact that we are going to be ahead of our targets and ambitions in delivering on the proportion of electricity provided by renewables in this country and that we continue to work to get our carbon emissions down.”

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