In a desperate bid to get progressives enthused about Brexit, Michael Gove claimed today that the EU was standing in the way of banning plastic straws.
The Environment Secretary told Sky News: “Plastic straws are a scourge. They’re just one example of the ways in which we pollute the oceans and damage marine wildlife.”
The Tory vowed to do everything possible to tackle the problem and said he was exploring whether they could be banned. But Gove added:
“There is some concern that EU laws mean that we can’t ban straws at moment…
“…Being outside of the EU actually makes it easier for us to do the right thing. I think Britain leaving the European Union can help us make a contribution to a better planet. That’s why I believe we are pursuing a Green Brexit.”
But he’s not the only politician whose declared war on plastic straws after watching Blue Planet.
Only last month European Commission first vice president Frans Timmermans told the Guardian:
“If we don’t do anything about this, 50 years down the road we will have more plastic than fish in the oceans … we have all the seen the images, whether you watch Blue Planet, whether you watch the beaches in Asian countries after storms.
“If children knew what the effects are of using single-use plastic straws for drinking sodas, or whatever, they might reconsider and use paper straws or no straws at all.
“We are going to choke on plastic if we don’t do anything about this. How many millions of straws do we use every day across Europe? I would have people not use plastic straws any more.”
Timmermans launched the EU’s plastic strategy last month and today told Gove they’d introduce legislation before Brexit:
.@michaelgove One step ahead of you. EU legislation on single-use plastics coming before the summer. Maybe you can align with us? #EUDoesntSuck #StrongerTogether #PlasticsStrategy https://t.co/hbBBXT1eGa
— Frans Timmermans (@TimmermansEU) February 23, 2018
The Brexiteers really are clutching at straws…