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Net Zero ‘the next Brexit’

23 March 2020

The UK’s net zero greenhouse gas legislation has the potential to divide the country just as Brexit did, critics of the law have said. 

Former Conservative and UKIP MP Douglas Carswell tweeted this month: “I wonder if this net zero commitment will replace Europhilia as the delusion of the governing classes? Like EU integration, the elite obsesses about it, uses it to press an agenda on the public. And the public won’t wear it.”

Commentator James Delingpole wrote on the Breitbart website last week: “Net zero is going to destroy Boris Johnson’s administration in the way that Brexit destroyed David Cameron’s. None of Boris’s clever advisors and colleagues – not Dom Cummings, not Michael Gove – appears to have understood this yet. But others can see it coming a mile off.”

Delingpole quoted an article by Daily Telegraph columnist Sherelle Jacobs who wrote: “Beyond the Red Wall [traditional Labour-voting constituencies] are rumblings of a new revolt, utterly unanticipated by No 10 and overlooked by a liberal media. With its drive to ‘green’ the economy at any cost, the Tory party has seemingly decided to celebrate its populist landslide by bogging down the country in zero-carbon paternalism. 

“And so we career towards another People vs Establishment conflict that could be more explosive even than that sparked by the referendum.”

A petition demanding a referendum on the UK’s net zero commitment has been started on the No 10 Downing Street petitions website. Instigated by Paul Biggs of the Alliance of British Drivers, the petition says the policy has been “waved through parliament without any meaningful debate, proper costings or cost benefit analysis”. 

It quickly amassed more than 5,000 signatures but has since stalled at just over 6,000. It needs 10,000 for a Government response and 100,000 for a debate in Parliament. It closes on 6 September.

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