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Red alert for nature and environment following leave vote  

The environment must be at the heart of our exit negotiations with Europe and how we plan our future as a country – says Friends of the Earth, as the environmental campaign group warns that with the referendum over, the difficult debates are now just beginning. 
Today’s (24 June) referendum result for Britain to leave the EU means that many vital European environmental protections will cease to apply. Friends of the earth will be campaigning to make sure that these protections are upheld and not watered down, despite our exit from the EU. 
Craig Bennett, Friends of the Earth’s CEO, said: 
“The referendum may be over but many of the difficult debates are only just beginning. 
“The environment must be at the heart of our negotiations with Europe and how we create a positive future for our country. We cannot let the UK return to the days of ‘the dirty man of Europe’. Protections for our birds and wildlife, our beaches and rivers, must not be sacrificed in the name of cutting away so-called EU ‘red tape’.  
“The environment was rarely mentioned during the referendum but it must now move up the political agenda. With urgent issues like climate change, air pollution and destruction of the natural world already impacting this generation, not just the next, we don’t have time for the environment to take a back seat through years of negotiations."
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Published by Friends of the Earth Trust