Belgium joins France in warning of UK sewage in the North Sea – POLITICO

Belgium wants London to explain the raw sewage dumped into the English Channel and the North Sea, joining France in concern over the potential threat to health and marine life.

« Under no circumstances should the discharge have any impact on the waters or the marine environment of [EU] Member States,” Vincent Van Quickenborne, Belgian Minister for the North Sea, told POLITICO on Saturday.

« I have asked my services to look into this matter further and to contact the relevant UK administrations on this matter. »

Van Quickenborne added that although the UK is no longer bound by EU environmental regulations following Brexit, it must take the necessary steps to limit the impact of sewage leaks on the marine environment. .

The Belgian minister’s reaction echoes calls to the European Commission for legal and political action by MPs from French President Emmanuel Macron’s party. They warn that in the short term, the leaks could damage the bathing waters of the French coast and harm marine biodiversity.

Belgium’s North Sea Minister said the spill had so far had no impact on Belgian waters.

“At the moment, there is indeed no reason to worry,” said Van Quickenborne, before stressing that the competent Belgian services will contact the British services in order to obtain further details.

The complaints come after pollution warnings were issued over the summer for 50 beaches in England and Wales after heavy rain caused sewage overflows to be diverted from overloaded sewers to rivers and the sea.

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