Before Britain joined the European Union, raw sewage was discharged in to the sea, beaches had to be closed for bathing and the country was known as the ‘dirty man of Europe’, an East of England Euro MP has told a national environmental campaign event for the EU Referendum, held at Cromer Beach in Norfolk, today.
Labour’s Richard Howitt MEP said the EU ‘blue flag’ status awarded to Cromer beach, four others in North Norfolk and 24 across East Anglia, made it safe to swim for families and is crucial to attracting tourists to visit.
Thirteen year old North Walsham school student, Hannah Berry, said Britain remaining in the European Union was vital for the future, who attended after volunteering to help through the cross-party ‘European Movement’, who helped organise the event.
Holding a beach ball emblazoned with the slogan ‘Remain for Nature’, Richard Howitt MEP told the event:
“Before Britain joined the European Union, 25 per cent of our beaches were unfit for swimming, but when the EU ‘bathing water’ law was proposed, the then British Government opposed it as ‘undue interference’.
“Instead the EU ‘blue flag’ scheme has led to 95 per cent of British beaches being safe for swimmers, and the ‘excellent’ status achieved in here in Cromer and at beaches across East Anglia, is crucial to underpinning 90,000 jobs and £4.5billion of tourist income to local business.
“Pollution in our sea or in the air, or the carbon emissions which cause global warming, will never stop at a line on the map. The environmental case for Britain to remain in the European Union is overwhelming.”
Praising ‘Environmentalists for Europe’ who had joined the ‘European Movement’ to organise today’s event, Richard Howitt MEP quipped:
“The Chair of ‘Environmentalists for Europe’ is Boris Johnson’s Dad, and if you can’t even persuade your own father, why should anyone else believe the ‘leave’ case?”