Here is a reason to remain in the EU – the European Commission has started a legal process against the UK government for:
- the failure to carry out appropriate assessments on the Walshaw Moor Estate in the South Pennines Natura 2000 site, and other Natura 2000 sites, as required under the EU Habitats Directive in relation to a number of management agreements
- allowing burning of blanket bogs within the Natura 2000 sites
- the failure to avoid deterioration of blanket bog habitats within those sites in England
The UK government has two months to respond to the EU Commission letter, which was sent on 29th April 2016. This is the first step in a legal process.
Years ago, Ban the Burn and the RSPB both complained to the EU Commission about possible breaches of the Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (‘the Habitats Directive’) in relation to blanket bog habitats within the Walshaw Moor Estate in the South Pennine Moors Natura 2000 site and other Natura 2000 sites in England.
The EU started the process against the Coalition government but then after the May 2015 General Election and the change of government, it had to start again.
At the West Yorkshire Trades Council Conference, Jenny asked Linda McAvan, one of Yorkshire and Humber’s MEPs, if she would follow up the complaint for Ban the Burn.
Since Ban the Burn made the complaint to the EU Environment Directorate, Upper Calderdale Wildlife Group has been monitoring the management of Walshaw Moor Estate, particularly burning and draining. Ban the Burn and Upper Calderdale Wildlife Group intend to update the complaint with new information – if we are still part of the EU after 23 June.
This is a good reason to vote to stay in.