Michael Gove in Twitter tussle with top EU official over green agenda

Posted On: 
23rd February 2018

A top EU official today sparked a Twitter spat with Michael Gove after he bragged that the EU was “one step ahead of you” when it comes to banning single use plastics.

The Environment Secretary has suggested that plastic pollution in the oceans was one reason for a possible ban.
PA Images

The row broke out after the Environment Secretary hinted that a ban on plastic straws could be imminent, but suggested that the move could be blocked by the EU.

Following reports that plastic straw use in parliament had soared in recent years, Mr Gove told the Daily Telegraph to “watch this space” on the possibility of a ban.

However, European Commission vice president Frans Timmermans mocked the Brexit supporter in a tweet that said: “One step ahead of you. EU legislation on single-use plastics coming before the summer. Maybe you can align with us?”

He ended the tweet with the hashtags “#EUDoesntsuck #StrongerTogether”.

But Mr Gove fired back that there had been no specific proposal from the European Union on banning straws, and urged the bloc to “catch up on microbeads" following announcement of a UK ban last year.

Mr Gove had told the Telegraph: “Plastic straws are a scourge. They're just one example of the ways in which we pollute the oceans and damage marine wildlife.

"I want to do everything we can to restrict the use of plastic straws and we're exploring at the moment if we can ban them."

He added: “There is some concern that EU laws mean that we can’t ban straws at moment, but I'm doing everything I can to ensure that we end this scourge and I hope to make an announcement shortly.”