14 December 2018
UPDATE: Green MEP calls on EU to intervene over 'potentially illegal' Oxford Expressway plans
A senior Green Party politician has called on the European Commission to investigate the legality of the controversial plans for the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway, for which the government has today reconfirmed its support.
Keith Taylor, Green MEP for the South East, said the lack of public consultation on the 'environmentally destructive' project so far may contravene international law.
In a letter to Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc, Mr Taylor highlighted the significant impact the development will have on local people, and claimed the UK government had worked on the project "behind closed doors."
The letter comes after the Campaign to Protect Rural England claimed that the one million homes proposed as part of the Expressway project would destroy an area of countryside the size of Birmingham.
On the CPRE release and his letter, Keith, a member of the European Parliament's Transport and Environment Committees, said:
"CPRE's latest study reveals the terrifying extent of the impact of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc. That the government claims the project represents its commitment to 'protecting the natural environment' is frightening. It is clearer than ever that the project is a monumental disaster and act of environmental sabotage."
REPORT: Green MEP successes in the EU, 2014-2018
UK Green MEPs Keith Taylor, Jean Lambert and Molly Scott Cato sit in the Greens/European Free Alliance political group in the European Parliament. The group comprises Green, Pirate and Independent MEPs as well as MEPs from parties representing stateless nations and disadvantaged minorities.
The group currently counts with 52 MEPs from 18 countries and 5 regions. It is the fifth group in numerical importance in the European Parliament.
MEPs were last elected in 2014, the Greens/EFA group has released a new report charting its successes in the European Parliament since then, ahead of the European Elections in 2019.
Tories latest Fracking plan: pretend to listen to residents while riding roughshod over local democracy
Keith Taylor, Green MEP for the South East, has responded to the government's latest fracking consultation labelling plans to 'engage with local communities over shale gas exploration proposals' a 'sham' while Ministers are also proposing removing planning decisions for drilling operations from local authorities.
The government's consultation on 'Compulsory community pre-application consultation for shale gas development' closes on January 9 2019. In his response to the consultation, the senior Green politician restated his opposition to fracking anywhere in England.
Mr Taylor added:
"It's a shameless sham to suggest that these proposals will mean residents voices will be listened to on fracking. They are already routinely ignored and, to add insult to injury, the government is planning to ride roughshod over their locally elected representatives too. All in the name of fast-tracking fracking on communities and a country that overwhelmingly supports renewable energy."