A range of leading naturalists plus the former heads of Natural England, English Nature, the RSPB and the National Trust have issued grave warnings about the potential effect of Brexit on Britain’s countryside. We’re highlighting their letter here because the bulk of archaeological protection is closely linked to environmental protection measures (and mainly financed by European money) and therefore of equal concern. Telling excerpts from their letter include the following:

  • “Far from being ‘red tape’, the rules and regulations coming out of Brussels have been “critical” to improving the quality of Britain’s water, air and natural environment”
  • “It’s vital to recognise that virtually the entire legal protection for our environment here in Britain derives from European safeguards”
  • “UK politics has a tendency to be short term and see the natural environment as an impediment to economic growth, and EU agreements help mitigate this by encouraging us to be more long term in our public policy.”
  • “If the UK were to pull out of the EU the Government would be under huge pressure from industry to water down environmental protections in areas like energy efficiency to help the UK to become more competitive against our former European partners.”
  • Our air, water and land are kept clean by European laws.  And rightly so, because pollution knows no national boundaries.  We ignore these protections at our peril.”