Click images for more details



Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« Climate physician, heal thyself! | Main | Modular nukes: coming soonish. »

Would Brexit allow us to escape the clutches of the green blob?

So it's all very exciting. We're finally going to get a referendum on the EU. 

Now the EU hasn't been a regular topic of this blog since the distant time before I started to specialise in climate and energy matters, but we can at least wonder about what Brexit might mean for the green blob.

It seems reasonable to assume that it would be a bitter blow for those fake charities like Friends of the Earth who campaign to order on behalf of the Brussels bureaucracy - witness the wads of cash that are sent FoE's way, and their sudden interest in air quality at around the time that Brussels issued its new standards.

It's also interesting to wonder whether an independent UK would stick with absurd Brussels recycling targets and renewables targets and directives on flood management and so on. I'm sure readers can suggest further examples. 

I don't think Brexit would be a panacea - EU membership has given us the green blob and there is now a huge vested interest that will fight tooth and nail to keep their rents. 

But at least, with Brexit, we might be in with a chance.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (86)

I don't think it would stop it in the short term, not least because we're responsible for some of the madness but it would set us up to ditch it quicker when the mood was there. In some ways, the period of economic strain just after a Brexit might be more useful, simply because it might make people re-evaluate priorities.

Feb 22, 2016 at 10:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

There is so much focus on "IN" or "OUT", when the only important issue is what would we do when OUT. And that relates to all spheres of policy.

If we fail clear out the wasteful and distorting "green" laws and regulations and the myriad of other damaging EU "initiatives" we will be no better off.

Feb 22, 2016 at 10:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

Listening to Mr Blobby aka David Cameron yesterday, one of his reasons for "staying in Europe" (presumably unlike Manchester United and others!), was it makes it easier to "fight global warming!
So conversely by leaving we have a better chance of slaying the Dragon.

Feb 22, 2016 at 10:08 AM | Unregistered Commenterpatrick healy

IIRC, it was Britain who green blobbed the EU, not the other way round. We have been the vanguard of all things renewable (Climate Change Act) . Now we indeed have the EU sponsoring Friends of the Earth to lobby the EU and undemocratic targets and directives.

Feb 22, 2016 at 10:10 AM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

Climate policies will not change as long as Cameron is PM, he is personally associated with current sustainability targets.

Feb 22, 2016 at 10:10 AM | Registered CommenterDung


The left have always opposed EU membership. That included the Labour party when it was left wing.

"In 1975, Labour held a special conference on British membership and the party voted 2 to 1 for Britain to leave the European Communities. In 1979, the Labour manifesto declared that a Labour government would "oppose any move towards turning the Community into a federation" and, in 1983, it still favoured British withdrawal from the EEC."

Feb 22, 2016 at 10:12 AM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

Read Matt Ridley's excellent piece in the Times today.
"Leaving Europe would be a leap into the light".
"There are about 25,000 lobbyists in Brussels, representing the likes of Big Pharma and Big Green, and they are often in the room where the rules get written that erect barriers to entry against irritating new competitors".

Feb 22, 2016 at 10:20 AM | Unregistered Commenterherptile

If the UK votes to leave that will be the end of Cameron, even though he could try to cling on as PM. Nobody would want him.
The question is whether the 'new' UK parliament would be willing and able to revise a lot of rules, laws and get rid of a lot of EU baggage. I would not hold out hope as these are largely the people who voted for them without thinking.

On the other hand staying would be disastrous as the EU heads for collapse and desperate measures are forced on those countries remaining.

Feb 22, 2016 at 10:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterGraeme No.3

The EU has long been used by British politicians and pressure groups to impose law that they would have struggled to get through Parliament if it did not have the compulsion of Brussels attached. Instead of being implemented by a simple order in council under some act that says we must implement EU law, it will now have to endure more scrutiny. Moreover, much of the pressure in the corridors of Brussels actually originated from Britain. That will no longer be the case.

However, the blob is now so well entrenched in our quangocracy and political classes that it is hard to see it backing down. They did vote for the Climate Change Act - way beyond anything the EU demanded.

Feb 22, 2016 at 10:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

Great letter in the DT today, Bish, which encapsulates the dilemma for those north of the border:

SIR – Whenever Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, and Carwyn Jones, the First Minister of Wales, put on their “I Love Devolution” T-shirts, they tell us that the people of Scotland and Wales should only be governed by their elected members in Edinburgh or Cardiff. However, now that they have donned their “I Love the EU” T-shirts they obviously believe they should actually be governed by unelected foreign bureaucrats in Brussels.

So how will they decide which T-shirts to wear in May and June?

Feb 22, 2016 at 10:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

Now that the plan has been revealed for Camerons successor in waiting to lead the Conservative party into the next decade of Tory party rule we should still be wary that Mr Johnson senior has vested interests in the environmental field and may have more than an influence on the Nations future policy.

Feb 22, 2016 at 10:31 AM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

74% of Telegraph readers say that having Boris "vote Leave" has made them back Brexit.

Feb 22, 2016 at 10:32 AM | Unregistered Commenterherptile

We are in Europe b/c the Americans want us to be there.

"US President Obama urges UK not to leave EU - BBC News"

"De Gaulle saw in British membership the Trojan Horse of American imperialism in Europe".

Feb 22, 2016 at 10:34 AM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

Esmiff (Feb 22, 2016 at 10:10 AM)

It was Britain who green blobbed the EU, not the other way round.
Not entirely. In fact not at all. France, Germany and Italy have Greens in substantial numbers in their proper parliaments, not just in the Brussels thingy. And for retired politicians from the smaller countries like Ireland's Mary Robinson, sucking up to the Blob is a sure path to a second career.

The leader of the staunchly pro-Europe Greens in the French parliament was on telly this morning saying Good Riddance. He hoped Britain would vote for Out. If UK Europhiles knew how much European Europhiles hate the UK, they might have second thoughts about their one way love affair.

Feb 22, 2016 at 10:35 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

Might I take this opportunity to state that a desire to exit the EU is not about disliking Europeans or people who want to stay in. Even if the way people talk, might sometimes seem that way. There are benefits and hazards in or out.

Feb 22, 2016 at 10:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

The lovely Lisa Nandy (Pandy) was on Question Time last week and (thrice) raised the issue of the 'threat' of climate change as one of the perils of our position if we left. I wondered what she was on about. Perhaps she's had letters from Foe and Greenpeace?

Feb 22, 2016 at 10:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

Nonsense. The UK has consistently been one of the greenest members of the EU.

Feb 22, 2016 at 10:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Tol


Feb 22, 2016 at 10:47 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Our uxorious "Dear Leader's" wife is a Greenpeace activist who makes Caroline Lucas look like Margaret Thatcher.
("Behind every great man" etc)
ANYONE would be an improvement !

Feb 22, 2016 at 10:51 AM | Unregistered Commenterherptile

End the error of Groupthink by getting out the group.

- In EU policy can all be about "reaching a CONSENSUS" much so that govs hold back ..on raising difficult stuff. So it ends up not being properly thrashed out.

- However roll on the new Europe/World co-operation without the corruption and dis-functionality of the old "can't even audit its books EU."
Yes the world can cooperate on laws and norms, but why in 2016 should geographical proximity be the driver. We can cooperate with any country who can make the grade : Canada, Norway, NZ, Chile, Caribbean, Korea, Singapore etc.

Feb 22, 2016 at 10:53 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

So on June 23rd we vote to leave. What then?

On June 24th we will still be part of the EU.

An exit requires acts of Parliament, acts of the EU parliament and negotiations with EU for an exit. Treaties can't simply be torn up and tossed into the bin (unfortunately). It could take years to disentangle the ties with the EU.

It will be Conservative and Labour politicians who are in charge of the negotiations for the exit and I can not think of a single one of either party that has the ability to negotiate a good exit deal.

They could spin out the negotiations and Parliamentary acts for years and in the mean time hold more referendums until they get the answer they want.

I have confidence that we will vote to leave but I have no confidence that the politicians will actually do it.

Feb 22, 2016 at 10:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Blaming the EU has become a very, very useful pretext for making stuff up that diverts public funding towards one's own sinecure and your mostly bent opportunist pals.

The UK's bloated public sector is riddled with officials passing off their own whim as some kind of Mandate of Heaven from a remote and unreachable / untouchable supreme authority from whence they get their power.The legal profession is characteristically exploiting the situation for personal gain to boot .

No Brexit is going to impact that state of affairs - they'll simply find another "top goblin".

Europe is a geographical term - not my country.

As others have pointed out - we cannot simply walk out - and those officials (+ assd. lawyers) will likely throw as many referenda at us as it takes to get the "required answer"

Feb 22, 2016 at 10:55 AM | Registered Commentertomo

@TerryS Great things can come from divorce.
We shouldn't let fear put us off ..That's the message of climate change propaganda "oh scary, scary !"
..About time we grew some balls and stopped being driven by fear.

Feb 22, 2016 at 10:57 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

The US had a civil war when some of their constituent parts decided to leave.
If we are to leave the EU , it had better be sooner because later might be a lot more messy

Feb 22, 2016 at 11:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist

I cannot think why anybody would want to remain in an un-elected, un-democratic, un-accountable, & un-sackable, federalist neo-socialist totalitarian organisation! It's all fake, a sham. It possesses the air of democracy, it has its own parliament (a mere hot-air generating machine) with no powers, the Commissars rule us by dictat & whim, said Commissars are in charge of everything but responsible for nothing, eg PIP in which thousands if not millions of women across the EU lived for months in fear of leaking silicone into their bodies, from "Medical Equipmnent", under which breast-implants come, from the scandal of horse meat being inserted into food products for which the Commisars are responsible (or not)! Do any of you regulars here recall the EU Commissars for both subjects, being hauled before the EU Parliament where MEPs demanded to know how these scandals came about? The profuse apologies by the relevent Commissars that had to be made, because they had allowed them to happen? No? Neither do I! Just two simple demonstrations of how inept the faux the whole EU system is!

Feb 22, 2016 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

At least when we leave the EU if we still suffer from the antics of the green blob then we only have ourselves to blame and should do something about it.

Feb 22, 2016 at 11:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

There are a number of similarities between #Brexit and the American declaration of independence. I suspect however, that when we have a tea party it'll be more likely to involve cake than throwing tea chests into the harbour.

Feb 22, 2016 at 11:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterBloke down the pub

There is far more unity within the political classes of the UK on the issue of dangerous Global Warming than there has ever been about the EU.

Leaving the EU or staying In will have no effect on most Green policies.

Although it may lead to a change in the tax on landfills.

Feb 22, 2016 at 11:25 AM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

If you watched Boris yesterday he never once said he wanted us to leave the EU, he said we needed a better deal. In his article today in the DT he also added that voting to leave the EU might not actually mean that we will have to leave. Boris is practising lies and deception ready for when he is PM.

Feb 22, 2016 at 11:33 AM | Registered CommenterDung

"The UK's bloated public sector is riddled with officials passing off their own whim"

I've reminded my MP (many times) that it is the Civil Service who really run the country, and I fear they will continue to frustrate attempts to roll back the green lunacy even if we do vote to leave. Just think of the legendary TV series "Yes Minister". Suggestions that central government could hand back many powers to local councils won't help restore democracy either - not only do we have Common Purpose deeply entrenched, but the bastards have their own network: ICLEI

"ICLEI is the only network of sustainable cities operating worldwide. The organisation facilitates local government input to United Nations (UN), processes such as the UN Framework Conventions on Climate Change, and Biodiversity. In partnership with the UN and other organisations, as well as national governments, ICLEI puts in the groundwork for more ambitious and more responsible international commitments - and seeks global recognition and support for local action"

Just look at their list of "Partners":

Feb 22, 2016 at 11:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterDave Ward

There's been a discussion thread and Unthreaded mini-discussions regarding Brexit. As far as I can tell many of the arguments put forward for exit are only half true and based on emotion. The EU makes a very convenient scapegoat, it's Brussels imposing their rules on us from the public and sorry guys we've got to do it Brussels says so from the bureaucratic elite. As several comments have already said a great deal is self inflicted by taking what comes out of Brussels and enhancing it. Some are actually quite sensible, and just badly applied in the UK. Of all the specific examples put forward as being the "fault of Brussels" on the discussion don't look that black and white with even a minimal bit of research. I imagine the search for a new scapegoat is already underway in certain quarters.

In the UK in general and England in particular there's been a long history of being the top dog in any relationship with other nations and not having a revolution every century, the nation probably hasn't got over executing Charles 1 yet. This makes being a partner in a union of states very difficult for a UK citizen, particularly the English majority, to cope with. Brexit may well be required for many UK politicians and citizens to realise just what being an ex-world power means in the modern world which has moved on quite a lot since the UK joined the Common Market.

For my part it will probably be one step backwards requiring the proverbial two forward by some means if there is a vote to leave. I also fear for the longevity of the UK depending on how the four nations vote individually, certainly Scottish and Irish nationalists could make hay in the sunshine of Brexit.

They're bureaucrats but at least they're our bureaucrats could well be used as an exit slogan, because unelected bureaucrats are still going to be the people making the decisions.

Feb 22, 2016 at 11:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Brexit would be many steps in the correct/best direction.
A reduction in climate "rubbish" would one of these steps.

Feb 22, 2016 at 11:40 AM | Unregistered Commentertoorightmate

SandyS, you haven't said where you think the EU's control would stop should we remain or are you ok with the EU (and us) being one big country? It doesn't matter whether we have a veto or not if it becomes financially crippling to be outdside the inner circle, we would voluntarily enter it.

Some of us think that bigger and bigger organisations aren't a good thing. It has nothing to do with being top dog.

Feb 22, 2016 at 11:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

In his revealing article in today's DT Boris states that the UK is only getting the referendum because of David Cameron which seemed to me to be a very odd way of spelling Nigel Farage.

Feb 22, 2016 at 11:55 AM | Registered CommenterDung

If we leave (oh, yes please) - we may be the first (actually Greenland left in 1985) - but you bet your sweet bippy we wouldn't be the last....

Feb 22, 2016 at 12:07 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

Green blobber Zac Goldsmith is on the Brexit side.

Feb 22, 2016 at 12:30 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Dave Ward:

I was reminding myself of some key quotes only yesterday.

Sir Humphrey: Bernard, if the right people don’t have power, do you know what happens? The wrong people get it: politicians, councillors, ordinary voters!
Bernard: But aren’t they supposed to, in a democracy?
Sir Humphrey: This is a British democracy, Bernard!

Feb 22, 2016 at 12:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

Would anyone feel any different if we could just reverse all the changes that Blair signed us upto at Maastricht, without asking the UK's consent?

For me, everything about the EU involves huge decisions being made by failures, for failure, but for their own good.

Feb 22, 2016 at 12:45 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

As a Kiwi, may I say that I am elated that this issue is even going to be voted on. There was a time that we Kiwis were proud to be of a British Commonwealth, but when Britain joined the European Common Market, it effective destroyed the camaraderie that existed in the Commonwealth to that point. What was left was a Commonwealth in name only and not a true international partnership.

Right now New Zealand is in the process of deciding whether or not to change our flag, and all of the options we are looking at remove the Union Jack. There is more than a passing suggestion that if the flag changes the next step would be to drop the Monarchy and declare ourselves a republic. These rumblings started 43 years ago when New Zealand's special status with Britain was wiped overnight. Perhaps if Brexit succeeds we may see a return to the Commonwealth of Old.

Feb 22, 2016 at 12:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterJantar

Some people have argued that it would take YEARS to disentangle ourselves from the EU...

I have a simple solution: stop paying the £55m a day it costs us to be a member...!

That ought to concentrate a few political minds in Brussels...

Feb 22, 2016 at 1:15 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

Environmental legislation is one of the EU's greater achievements. Yes, it sometimes goes too far, as in the zeal for tackling so-called climate change, but on protection of water resources, air quality, species protection, etc, its been good.

Feb 22, 2016 at 1:17 PM | Unregistered Commenteroakwood

To destroy the Green Blob, we need to do away with DECC. I have a suspicion that Gordon Brown created DECC, partly to give a department to teacher's pet, Ed Miliband, but also in obedience to some euro-directive which demanded it. As a notorious control freak, Brown would have been the last to admit that his actions were merely reflex responses to demands from Sprout Force One.

If we succeed in escaping from the shackles of Brussels (not that I'm implying how I intend to vote, there), we'll still have to deal with DECC, but Cameron will be toast, as will Corbyn, incidentally, so a new PM will have a great opportunity finally to prise the grip of this Old Man of the Sea from our necks.

Feb 22, 2016 at 1:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterOwen Morgan

@Jantar: speaking as a canadian I think the demographic in Canada is so changed from what it was back when Britain dumped us all to get in bed with the continental whore, that we wouldn't be interested in a new overture from the UK. We're too far entrenched in the American Empire to be interested in a toothless powerless satellite - shoot that's what we are ourselves!

Feb 22, 2016 at 1:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterchris moffatt

In times of serious threats, including from the Green Blob, it appeals to me to have more control over our political affairs, and our state expenditures. Therefore the sooner we leave the EU, the better.

Feb 22, 2016 at 1:31 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

I find it very sad that people say we shouldn't vote for exit because it might take years to disentangle ourselves.

Feb 22, 2016 at 1:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

dave ward, indeed. ". In 2006, the renewed EU Sustainable Development Strategy was adopted in the European Council. The Strategy acknowledges the important role of Local Agenda 21 processes and the Aalborg Commitments in implementing its objectives. "

Feb 22, 2016 at 2:02 PM | Unregistered Commenterbit chilly

we haven't got a chance of leaving the EU. The powers that be will just hold another and another and another vote until they get the decision they want.


Feb 22, 2016 at 2:11 PM | Unregistered Commentermailman


Had the EEC/EU not existed I am absolutely sure that many nations of europe would have decided to protect their environments more. That is simply the direction of travel since the post war period and especially under the auspices of the UN. It has never needed a transnational political union to achieve those things.

Feb 22, 2016 at 2:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth


I really do not believe the Brits would tolerate repeated referendums, if we voted for out and were then asked to vote again, the majority would increase ^.^

Feb 22, 2016 at 2:39 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Lets hope you are right Dung.



Feb 22, 2016 at 3:23 PM | Unregistered Commentermailman

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>