09:19 GMT +317 December 2017
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    British Wildlife at Risk After Brexit, Warn MPs

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    A group of British MPs have issued a warning to the government that Britain's wildlife and farming industry could face "significant risks" when the UK leaves the EU.

    The Environmental Audit Committee wants a new protection act put in place during Article 50 negotiations to make sure that the UK's farming industry doesn't lose out on export subsidies and tariffs.

    The risks highlighted by the committee include a more competitive landscape from countries with weaker food, animal welfare and environmental standards.

    ​Mary Creagh, chair of the committee said: "Changes from Brexit could put our countryside, farming and wildlife at risk. The Government must not trade away these key protections as we leave the EU. It should also give clarity of any future farm subsidies."

    The committee also wants Britain's wildlife and special places to be protected under a new Environmental Protection Act.

    Stephanie Hilborne, chief executive of the Wildlife Trust welcomes the new report:

    "It shows that politicians from all parties see the need for positive action for our natural environment as we approach Brexit."

    ​"Eighty percent of our environmental laws are tied in with the EU so preserving and improving them during and after Brexit is critical," Stephanie Hilborne said. 

    Food and farming frequently made an appearance during Brexit debates at the end of 2016, with the farmers, food suppliers, businesses and supermarkets all signing a joint letter to the government requesting protection during — and after Brexit.

    The letter stated that a hard Brexit could put UK food supplies at risk.

    ​Responding to the more recent concerns cited by Environment Audit Committee, a spokesperson for the government said:

    "The UK has a long history of wildlife and environmental protection and we are committed to safeguarding and improving these, securing the best deal for Britain as we leave the EU."

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    Article 50, Vote Leave, implications, challenges, Brexit, problems, wildlife, farmers, legal, vote, food, animals, Europe, Britain, United Kingdom
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