A Green Brexit for business

Follow the link to see the range of voices discussing a green Brexit in the Green Business Magazine (paywall, but free trial available). This is taken from the interview I did.

Although I voted Leave, I’m very clear that I don’t want a hard Brexit. I want a Brexit that actually ramps up our environmental and social protections and encourages a greener economy. So the way that I am working now is that I’m assuming Brexit is going to go through and I am working with anyone and everyone who wants the same sort of agenda as I do.

parliament5- big ben

GreenerUK have come up with some environmental criteria and I am supporting them and trying to push that through. So that’s my aim, I’m just looking to make sure that we have good regulations, better than before rather than worse, good enforcement of those regulations and lots of support for people who want to challenge organisations that aren’t living up to those standards. So those are three things that I am very clear that, for me, have got to happen.

 It’s impossible to know what is going to happen. There are all sorts of potential problems. One is that the Tories have their wicked way and scrap a lot of environmental legislation that has protected us. But on the other hand we will be able to specify local goods and local services, which might actually give our small businesses, our small farmers, a bit of a boost.

We have to work together to make sure that our voice is heard. My fear is once the Great Repeal Bill swaps everything over to this country that by a variety of measures we will start to lose some of the values, some of the principles and protections, that we take for granted.

I still think it’s the right decision to leave, but I think it’s obviously going to be very painful for us. In any sort of big change like this, it’s momentous and it’s going to be painful, but there are opportunities there if we can just get organised.

A sad day for Parliament

The Lords failed to stick to its guns and amend the Article 50 Bill to allow a meaningful vote on the final outcome of negotiations and also to secure the rights of 3 million EU nationals who have made this country their home. I voted for both amendments, but unfortunately, only a few brave Labour peers ignored the Labour whip and voted. All others abstained. Continue reading “A sad day for Parliament”

State schools punished for doing the right thing

My research in today’s Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/06/solar-powered-schools-bill-business-rates-rise-england-wales

Schools could face a business rates bill totaling £1.8 million if the Valuation Office Agency goes ahead with plans to remove the exemption for small non-domestic installations. Continue reading “State schools punished for doing the right thing”

My ’employment and equality’ amendment to Article 50

Employment and equality protections

This amendment, which was drafted in collaboration with the Women’s Equality Party, would ensure that, once the UK has withdrawn from the EU, any changes to workers’ rights or equality legislation derived from EU law would be subject to full Parliamentary scrutiny. Continue reading “My ’employment and equality’ amendment to Article 50”

My ‘super regulators’ amendment to Article 50

Environmental Regulators

This amendment would ensure that, following withdrawal from the EU, the UK’s environmental regulators and enforcement agencies – namely the Environment Agency, Natural England and the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs – are adequately funded and authorised to effectively perform the regulatory functions currently undertaken by EU institutions. We need powerful regulators and courts to ensure that breaches of the law are challenged. Continue reading “My ‘super regulators’ amendment to Article 50”

My environmental enforcement amendment to Article 50

This amendment would ensure that, in relation to EU-derived environmental protections, the UK judicial system would be ready, following departure from the EU, to effectively perform the enforcement duties currently undertaken by institutions of the EU. Currently, the Commission acts as the guardian of the law and responds to legitimate complaints. Serious breaches are referred to the European Court of Justice, which has the power to sanction, including fines of many hundreds of millions of pounds. Continue reading “My environmental enforcement amendment to Article 50”