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EU clean water laws shouldn’t be scrapped!

The UK Government is facing a defeat in the House of Lords over its bid to scrap regulations designed to protect swimmers and wildlife from degraded water quality.

Peers have put forward an amendment to the Retained EU Law Bill, which proposes that two clean water regulations should be exempt from the wider cull of European Laws. Save Britain’s Rivers, a campaign launched by i and New Scientist, is seeking to ensure that our country’s waterways remain free from pollution. 

The Bathing Water Regulations and Water Framework Directive were brought in when the UK was still an EU member – now both are at risk due to the Government’s plan to remove approximately 4,000 pieces of EU law from British statute by year end.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is facing an internal Tory rebellion over the government’s plans to allow sewage and industrial waste into rivers in England. The Environment Agency has proposed allowing companies to discharge thousands of tonnes of untreated wastewater directly into rivers, sparking outcry from environmentalists, anglers and Conservative MPs alike.

The move comes as Britain faces a mounting water pollution crisis, with recent reports showing that nearly two-thirds of UK rivers are not clean enough – a fact that many anglers can testify to. 

There is growing discontent among the British public and particularly anglers, over the government’s inaction on tackling the issue of sewage in rivers. This has been highlighted by a recent report from The Guardian which revealed that almost one million fish were killed last year due to pollution in England and Wales.


Written by Aman Sangha


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