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Hugo Swire fails East Devon residents over nature protections (yet again)

Wednesday, 13 September 2017 0 Comments by Claire

East Devon’s MP, Hugo Swire, has once again let down his constituents by putting his party before nature and wildlife.

On Sunday I wrote to Hugo Swire, as did many of his constituents, urging him to amend the Great Repeal Bill, currently making its way through parliament to ensure nature and wildlife were properly protected.

This was something that Devon Wildlife Trust was asking people to do via Twitter and a coalition of charities managed to get around 200 MPs to sign up to doing earlier this year, including Neil Parish.

Unfortunately, not a single Conservative MP voted against the Bill. And my understanding is that none supported amendments either, although I am not 100 per cent sure on this.

Nature protections are of particular importance to East Devon because of the legal protections afforded to nature currently under EU legislation.

At a time when UK nature is described as one of the most depleted in the world it could scarcely be a more vital time to safeguard such protections.

Devon County Council almost unanimously backed a motion of mine earlier this year, urging central government to protect the Habitats Regulations which protect so many of our landscapes and wildlife.

But Mr Swire ignored all of this and instead posted a misleading tweet about the Bill’s detail being worked on at a later date.

Yet, this hearing formed the strategy. The overarching plan for Brexit. The government has ensured that there are enough loopholes to allow them to get future changes through without parliamentary approval.

The fact that Michael Gove, Secretary of State, is a well known sceptic (and I might add complete philistine) when it comes to protecting nature, despite his recent hollow words, means that anyone who cares about our environment knows we have an absolute battle on our hands into the future.

And the fact that our MP refuses to say one word to help matters, choosing instead, to put out misleading rubbish to back his indefensible position, means our battle is harder still.

Our MP is tiresomely, hopelessly and categorically useless when it comes to protecting or fighting for anything other than the wretched A303, on which he actually advocates many more millions to be spent!

Local people have been let down yet again. By both Hugo Swire and Neil Parish.

Our fight to protect nature will be an extremely tough one. The Conservatives are currently winning the battle to put money and big business over our irreplaceable environmental treasures.

The fact that they know the price of everything and the value of nothing ... and that they are continuing to scheme to fix votes in their favour ... must not defeat us.

We must keep fighting.  Always.

Photo: Being interviewed by ITV in 2014 about the protection of Ottery’s beavers, which were at the time, threatened by DEFRA.

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