Ed Miliband will issue an extraordinary warning that Brexit could endanger the entire planet.
The former Labour leader will join forces with Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss, Green party leader Caroline Lucas and former Lib Dem minister Sir Ed Davey to claim that ‘our global habitat’ will suffer if Britain leaves the EU. The quartet has signed a joint declaration claiming that EU membership is ‘central’ to Britain’s efforts to tackle environmental problems.
They claim that problems as diverse as ivory poaching, commercial whaling and illegal logging could all get worse if Britain loses the ‘added clout’ of being in the EU.
And they accuse Brexit supporters of a ‘cavalier ignorance’ of climate change.
‘Collective action is the only solution to rising seas and rising temperatures. The European Union is central to both these challenges, they wrote.
‘Those campaigning for Britain to leave Europe cannot be trusted on the environment.
‘They have opposed vital green measures and denounced climate change as ‘mumbo jumbo’.
They demonstrate a cavalier ignorance about climate matters which embodies the extreme and out-dated outlook of those who want to leave.
If Britain leaves Europe, our environment, our wildlife and our global habitat will be starved of investment, bereft of protections and denied the leadership it needs.’
Pro-Brexit environment minister George Eustice dismissed the claims, saying that the EU offered hampered efforts by Britain to tackle global environmental problems.
Mr Eustice said EU membership had ‘systematically undermined the UK’s place on international wildlife conventions’.
He said Britain had lost its seat on key bodies and was sometimes barred from speaking out without EU permission. He added: ‘If we vote to leave and take control, the UK would regain its own seat and its voice in vital international wildlife conventions and everything from promoting shark conservation to ending whaling would become much easier.’ (Daily Mail)