Labour MEPs: Gove’s hot air can’t disguise UK’s interminable failure to meet EU air quality standards

Michael Gove’s plan for a new environmental “gold standard” is just more hot air from a government that has repeatedly failed to meet, and has lobbied to weaken, EU standards on air pollution, Labour MEPs warned as the UK today launched its air quality strategy.

Seb Dance MEP, Labour’s European Parliament spokesperson on environment, said:

“Time and again, the UK has failed to meet the EU’s high standards on air pollution, and is now being taken to the European Court of Justice. Today’s statements from ministers are just hot air, nothing more than a response to the EU’s recent legal action. Given their record to date, the idea a post-Brexit Tory government will bring in more stringent air pollution targets than the EU is risible.

“And on vehicle emissions, the government may talk about bringing criminal charges against car manufacturers that use software to cheat emissions tests and recalling vehicles that emit illegal levels of harmful nitrogen oxide fumes, but they have failed to implement fines and other sanctions proposed by the EU after the dieselgate scandal. Indeed, MEPs last month voted for even more punitive punishments, including fines of up to £26,000 per car.”