The United Kingdom is allowing the dumping of raw sewage in its rivers and along the coastline of the Channel and the North Sea, threatening the marine ecosystems and health of fishermen and women, prompting President of the Renew Europe CoR François Decoster and Nathalie Loiseau MEP to address this issue during the latest UK contact group meeting in the European Committee of the Regions.
This is a crucial issue as it is coastal regions and cities which are in the front line of this unacceptable pollution. Local authorities – not just in France – but also in Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands and Denmark are at risk of being seriously impacted, necessitating a European response.
François Decoster, Vice-President of the Hauts-de-France region which is directly impacted by the problem, also put this issue on the next meeting’s agenda in October to ensure the pollution issue is swiftly tackled as the sewage dumping could be a breach of the UK’s post-Brexit trade deal with the EU. While the UK is no longer bound by the EU’s environmental standards since leaving the European Union, it had agreed not to back down from the levels of environmental protection already in place.
The issue was also first raised by Renew Europe MEPs Pierre Karleskind, heading the European Parliament’s fisheries committee, Nathalie Loiseau and Stéphanie Yon-Courtin. Renew Europe CoR President François Decoster had the opportunity to intervene and ask Nathalie Loiseau about the issue at the latest UK contact group meeting, and she announced she will involve and associate the European Committee of the Regions in the next steps and follow-up: “Your voice will be heard”, she concluded.
The UK Contact group was established in 2020 by the European Committee of the Regions for relations with representatives of UK local government and devolved administrations to ensure that political dialogue with these representatives continues after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.