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EXCL Brexit a bigger threat to planet than Donald Trump, says top Labour MP

EXCL Brexit a bigger threat to planet than Donald Trump, says top Labour MP

Liz Bates

3 min read

Brexit is more of a threat to the environment than Donald Trump, the chair of a powerful Commons committee has said.


Labour’s Mary Creagh, who chairs the Environmental Audit Committee, said the damage to the planet that will be caused by the UK leaving the EU will far outweigh the US President’s impact.

In an interview with The House Magazine, she said: “The harm that will be done by Brexit over the next 40 years is much more worrying than the harm that Donald Trump can do over the next eight.”

Ms Creagh suggested that although the US commander-in-chief's time in office would not be “good for the planet,” his room for manoeuvre would be limited as US companies sought to improve their green credentials under pressure from shareholders. 

Ms Creagh's comments will pile pressure on the Government to live up to its promises for a "Green Brexit", with no slashing of environmental standards after the UK leaves the bloc.

The committee chair also lashed out at the Conservatives’ record on the environment, claiming that Britain was falling behind in its efforts to tackle climate change. 

“My concern is we are going from being a leader to being a laggard and that is a dangerous thing for us to be,” she said.

The Wakefield MP was one of only a handful of Labour backbenchers representing Brexit-backing constituencies to vote against Article 50 last year, which pulled the trigger on the UK’s exit from the EU.

Reflecting on that decision she said: “I can see no positives from Brexit I have to say…

“I come back to the basics, which is that I wasn’t elected by constituents to go and do things in Parliament that would make them poorer and their lives less good.

“So, for me the basic raison d'être of politics, of good politics or good policy, is to make people’s lives better and I get very angry when I hear people saying: ‘in 40 years’ time Britain will be great’… I haven’t got time for that.

“We can’t wait for some promised nirvana. I am not thinking in historical terms. Each person only has one life and in the long run we are all dead. So, I’m very concerned.”

Asked if she would support a second referendum, she replied: “We need to see the shape of the deal that comes back and we need to guarantee that there is a meaningful vote in Parliament on that deal.

“What happens after that vote – whether it is accepted or rejected by parliament - I think then defines the next steps of if there is a general election or a people’s vote. But I think it is too early to say.”

Read the most recent article written by Liz Bates - Jeremy Corbyn admits he would rather see a Brexit deal than a second referendum

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Environment Brexit