Thursday, December 7, 2023

The UK’s Natural Environment Benefits From Our Membership of the EU – Independent Report

Wyver Lane Pool
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s Wyver Lane Pool Nature Reserve

Press Release from Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

A report commissioned by The Wildlife Trusts, RSPB and WWF-UK from the Independent Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) has been released today.

The report is the definitive view of some of the top wildlife organisations in the country, exploring the environmental benefits gained through UK’s European Union (EU) membership and looking at where challenges still remain. The report also reviews the environmental implications of a potential UK withdrawal from the European Union.

In short, the report concludes that Britain’s membership of the EU has, on balance, delivered benefits for our natural environment that would be hard to replicate if we left.

The report acknowledges that many environmental challenges are cross border and require international collaboration and sums up with “Whatever the future of the UK’s relationship with the EU, together we must continue to build on the solid foundation that decades of environmental legislation have given us and avoid weakening protection for, or investment in, our precious natural resources and wildlife at all costs. To do otherwise would not be in our national interest.”

Tim Birch, Head of Advocacy and Conservation Strategy at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust said, “A lot of wildlife that arrives into Derbyshire comes across from Europe, bittern, starlings and many of our summer and winter visiting birds for example.  This means that international co-operation is essential.

Our important conservation work for rivers in Derbyshire through the DerwentWISE project and the Derbyshire Derwent Catchment Partnership is all driven by EU directives. There is also good legislation in place to protect Derbyshire’s uplands – areas of international importance for habitats and species. We rely on EU legislation for protected species, such as bats to be able to challenge planning applications that could have a detrimental impact on wildlife.”

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust recommend that the public ask ‘In’ and ‘Out’ campaigners key questions including:

  1. How would you make sure that action on nature protection, pollution and air quality is maintained and enhanced?
  1. How would you exercise international leadership on climate change?

You can read the full report from the IEEP (Institute for European Environmental Policy) and the summary report by clicking on the links below or visiting

IEEP Report_Environmental Consequences of UK leaving EU_March 2016


EU Referendum Summary Report

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