EU air pollution lawsuit exposes danger of UK plans for a post-Brexit environmental ‘lapdog’, say Greens

UK Green Party MEPs and the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament have welcomed the decision of the European Commission to refer several EU countries, including Britain, to the European Court of Justice over their failure to take action on air quality.

Keith Taylor MEP, a member of the European Parliament’s Transport and Environment and Public Health Committees, said:

“The European Commission is being forced to take legal action against the UK because the Government remains steadfastly apathetic in the face of a public health crisis that is linked to the deaths of 50,000 British citizens every year.”

“Post-Brexit, this is exactly the kind of scrutiny and oversight the Tories plan to escape. Proposals for a so-called environment watchdog that is nothing but a lame lapdog without the legal teeth to take the Government to court put this reality in sharp relief.”

“This is particularly concerning as legal action by the Commission and environmental lawyers, on the basis of EU law, has been the only way to force the UK Government to take any action on air pollution at all.”

Without a body with the legal might to enforce the EU’s vital air pollution laws post-Brexit, the Tories will be left free to stand idly by while Britain chokes.”