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Green groups warn about 'race to the bottom'

Green groups warn

The letter, signed by WWF, Greenpeace and others, says action is needed to halt ongoing environmental decline.

The UK government previously said it would leave the environment in a better state for future generations. But the letter expresses concern that Brexit could force ministers to backtrack on this promise. Newspaper reports based on leaked documents have suggested that trade and growth would be prioritised at the expense of efforts to tackle global warming and the illegal trade in wildlife. A government spokesperson said the UK's commitment to the environment was as strong as ever. It said the documents referenced in the media were old "unclassified notes" based on a conference from several months ago.

The letter from campaigners says: "We are alarmed by recent media reports suggesting that the UK's commitments to tackling climate change and ending the illegal wildlife trade could be watered down to secure post-Brexit trade deals." It added: "To be a great, global trading nation, the UK must deliver on its promises for the environment and the climate and honour our international commitments. "In doing so we will help build a greener, better and more prosperous future for everyone, rather than driving an environmental race to the bottom."