The Shadow Secretary of State for Environment on why she's a firm "Remainer"by Kerry McCarthy / March 8, 2016 / Leave a comment
Read more: Should we build on the floodplain?
If we have learnt one lesson over the past century, it should be that we achieve much more by working together internationally than we do by trying to go it alone. There is much to be proud of in what Britain has achieved through our membership of multilateral organisations: we have shown true global leadership and inspired others to emulate us.
Yet the UK has become more introspective in recent years. We have been too timid a voice in the Commonwealth; too afraid to use our seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council as a force for good; too reluctant to work with our European partners and maximise the potential benefits of our European Union membership.
Some of this is driven by an ideological aversion to “red tape,” state intervention, and collective decision-making: to put it crudely, being against anyone telling us what to do, and not caring what anyone else does. We see this at a national level, but we see it writ large in the debate over Europe.
There are few areas where the Labour mantra—“by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone”—is truer than the environment. A parochial United Kingdom cannot reduce the threat posed by climate change on its own, clean up the seas and oceans, nor protect precious wildlife.
The climate change conference in Paris last December demonstrated how the international community can work together to meet global challenges. The EU, as 28 nations united for progress, was instrumental in reaching the landmark agreement,…