17th January 2018
Labour MEPs backed a report today in the European Parliament which recommends weakening the UK's control over its waters.
The proposals call for restrictions to be imposed that would prevent countries from extracting resources from their sovereign waters.
Labour MEPs backed the calls which would ban new oil and gas fields in the North-Sea and prohibit deep-sea mining explorations - a move that would cost the UK £40 billion, thousands of jobs and the minerals needed to produce solar panels.
Conservative MEPs’ leader Ashley Fox MEP said: “It is astounding that Labour MEPs have again signalled their willingness to surrender more of the UK’s sovereignty to the EU and support measures that risk thousands of jobs.
“Conservative MEPs supported the report's calls for further cooperation between the EU Member States to protect our oceans and cut plastic waste, but we do not need to surrender more sovereignty to do this.
“The UK is already leading the way in protecting the world’s oceans with our Blue Belt programme that covers 4 million square kilometres of water around the British Overseas Territories. Theresa May pledged to increase the size of the project, protect more areas at home and work with our Commonwealth partners to reduce plastic waste in the Government’s 25-year plan to protect the environment.
“The Conservatives and the UK are leading the way on tackling plastic waste and protecting our oceans, while Labour MEPs are busy surrendering sovereignty and endangering British jobs.”