Bristol's Green MEP for the South West, Molly Scott Cato, has said she is delighted, but not surprised, that a new survey has found seven of the ten best UK beaches are in the South West, with the top spot going to Weymouth and second place to Fistral beach in Cornwall. The survey by Trip Advisor also names two other Cornwall beaches in the top 10 – Porthminster in St Ives and Perranporth; two more in Dorset - Bournemouth and Hengistbury Head, as well as Woolacombe beach in Devon. Dr Scott Cato said:
“During my time as an MEP I have had the pleasure of visiting many of the South West’s beautiful beaches. It comes as no surprise that seven of the top ten rated beaches are in our region. This shows that clean beaches and a protected environment are key to a successful tourism industry”.
Dr Scott Cato says it is vital to continue to safeguard our environment post-Brexit. She said:
“I can remember holidaying on beaches when we still pumped raw sewage into our seas. We have EU regulation to thank for forcing us to clean up our coastlines. We must continue to apply high environmental standards and regulations post-Brexit”.
The Greens are pressing for an Environmental Protection Act as part of a series of Green guarantees to ensure environmental regulation remains at least as strong as current EU regulation. A key demand is for an independent court to ensure UK compliance with the rules.
Molly Scott Cato concluded:
“The environment doesn’t even feature in Theresa May’s 12-point plan on Brexit. The Conservatives have made worrying noises about weakening environmental regulations, dismissing them as red tape. But the popular beaches of the South West show that these regulations not only make environmental sense; they make business sense too.
“While we remain members of the EU, the UK must clean up its act, as it is currently being forced to do over the UKs appalling air quality. But once we leave the EU, there is a danger the government will seek to water down regulations. If we are to prevent ourselves again becoming the dirty man of Europe, we need an Environmental Protection Act and to ensure that high environmental standards are legally binding”.