Essex warned of dirty Brexit

23 January 2019, 08:10 | Updated: 23 January 2019, 09:35


An environmental organisation is warning Essex is one of the areas most at risk of a dirty Brexit.

Friends of the Earth are concerned that leaving the EU without a deal would leave the UK without adequate environmental protections or a watchdog to enforce them.

It warns that beaches such as Frinton-on-Sea, West Mersea and Clacton-on-Sea "could return to their previous sewage and pollution-filled state".

"It has been EU environmental regulations that have cleaned those (beaches) up," Friends of the Earth CEO Craig Bennett told Heart.

"And although the country is very divided at the moment, the one thing that I think unites us all whether we voted leave or you voted remain, is no-one voted for the environment to be worse off as a result of Brexit.

"The fact is we're just not ready yet.

"We don't have the proper environmental laws in place to replace EU environmental laws, we don't have the enforcement bodies - the watchdogs - in place to make sure that those laws are enforced."

The organisation believes the UK would suffer environmentally from a no deal even in the short term, because of extra pollution from queues at ports.