French MEPs urge EU to sue the UK over sewage crisis: 'They are not dumping grounds'

Three MEPS have accused the UK of “exempting itself from its environmental requirements in terms of water” since leaving the EU


French MEPs are urging for the European Union to sue the UK over the sewage crisis in the English Channel and the North Sea.

In a joint statement, the three MEPS said the UK have “exempted itself from its environmental requirements in terms of water” since leaving the EU.

The statement read: “Large spills of untreated sewage have occurred in the UK.

“Pollution has been confirmed in the Channel and North Seas.

The English Channel
The English Channel

“Since leaving the European Union, the United Kingdom has exempted itself from its environmental requirements in terms of water quality.”

“Yet a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and a contracting party to the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the United Kingdom is committed to preserving the seas that surround it and that we share!”

Pierre Karleskind, Chairman of the fisheries of the European Parliament said: "We cannot accept that the United Kingdom sits down on its environmental commitments made at the time of Brexit and calls into question the efforts that have been made by Europeans over the past twenty years.”

While Nathalie Loiseau added: "The violation of the principle of non-regression of the levels of environmental protection provided for in the trade agreement with the United Kingdom must call for a response from the Commission.”

The third MEP to send the letter Stephanie Yon-Courtin continued: “We cannot allow the environment, the economic activity of our fishermen and the health of citizens to be seriously endangered by the repeated negligence of the United Kingdom in the management of its waste water.

“The English Channel and the North Sea are not dumping grounds!”

It comes just days after pollution warnings were put in place at more than 40 beaches and swimming spots in England and Wales after heavy rain overwhelmed the sewage system following months of little or no rain.

The south west and south coast of England were the worst affected, according to data gathered by environmental campaign group Surfers Against Sewage (SAS).

Swimmers were advised against bathing at seven beaches in Cornwall as a result of storm sewage overflows, with four in Devon and five in Dorset also polluted by the downpours.

Nine beaches in Sussex, three on the Isle of Wight and three in Essex were also hit by storm sewage.