Writing in his weekly column in The Telegraph, the EU leave campaigner said: “I cannot stress too much that Britain is part of Europe, and always will be.
“There will still be intense and intensifying European cooperation and partnership in a huge number of fields: the arts, the sciences, the universities, and on improving the environment.”
His words come after figures within the sustainability sector called into question the current Government’s intentions to drive initiatives in resources, the environment and the green economy, following last’s week’s referendum.
With 52% of voters opting to leave, many vital European environmental protections could cease to apply. This includes the UK’s obligation to recycle 50% of its waste by 2020, and any further targets set by the Commission’s Circular Economy Package.
Boris Johnson – “There will still be intense and intensifying European cooperation and partnership in a huge number of fields: the arts, the sciences, the universities, and on improving the environment.”
The Environmental Services Association’s (ESA) executive director Jacob Hayler said: “The referendum result will extend and intensify the uncertainty around both our industry and the UK more generally. The danger now is that the waste and recycling sector is placed at the bottom of the Government’s in-tray.”
CIWM said: “While it was conspicuously absent from the respective referendum campaigns, there is no hiding from the fact that EU membership has been a strong positive force for the quality of our environment and the associated benefits for our health, well being, jobs, skills, growth and general sustainability.
“Stepping out of the EU brings financial, policy, legal and performance uncertainty, which may well threaten a slow-down or reversal of the improvements we have enjoyed in recent years.”
On the UK retaining its membership of the European single market, Boris wrote, “As the German equivalent of the CBI – the BDI – has very sensibly reminded us, there will continue to be free trade, and access to the single market. Britain is and always will be a great European power, offering top-table opinions and giving leadership on everything from foreign policy to defence to counter-terrorism and intelligence-sharing – all the things we need to do together to make our world safer.”
“The only change – and it will not come in any great rush – is that the UK will extricate itself from the EU’s extraordinary and opaque system of legislation: the vast and growing corpus of law enacted by a European Court of Justice from which there can be no appeal. This will bring not threats, but golden opportunities for this country – to pass laws and set taxes according to the needs of the UK.
“Yes, the government will be able to take back democratic control of immigration policy, with a balanced and humane points-based system to suit the needs of business and industry.”
Boris Johnson is the bookies’ favourite to replace David Cameron as Prime Minister, following Cameron’s intended departure.