EU protects our coastline

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The tourist industry in the North East is very important to the local economy.

Northumberland boasts 29 beaches featured on the Good Beach Guide compiled by the Marine Conservation Society, from Alnmouth to Warkworth, Berwick to Beadnell, we have a truly beautiful coast. And we have European Blue Flag beaches in Roker, Salturn, South Shields and Tynemouth.

None of this happens by accident. The Blue Flag was created in France in 1985 as a pilot scheme where French coastal municipalities were awarded the Blue Flag on the basis of criteria covering sewage treatment and bathing water quality. The European Union increased the criteria with the Bathing Water Directive, which resulted in the reduction of neat sewage being pumped into the sea.

Visitors from Europe will see Long Sands beach on the Blue Flag website described as follows “Long Sands beach in Tynemouth, a stretch of golden sand suitable for bathing, surfing, kayaking...As the tide goes out a number of rock pools provide excellent family fun.” They will also know that due to European environmental policies the sea water quality is an ‘excellent status’ because it has a Blue Flag.

When going on a European beach holiday people may make their choice of where to stay based on the quality of sea water, particularly if they have young children who enjoy playing in the sea.

It is interesting how Brexiteers have forgotten the good environmental policies the European Union have introduced. They like to call them ‘Red Tape’.

Joyce Leeson ( Dr)