VIDEO: Fracking protestors oppose British Government’s decision to overturn Lancashire’s ban on fracking
Six months after I last visited the Woolston Anti-Fracking camp, and following the British Government's decision to overturn Lancashire county council's decision to ban fracking, I came back to get the campers' reaction, and give my own view.
Last week, Theresa May's Conservative Government decided to go against the decision laid out by Lancashire County Council to ban fracking in their borough. To many, this was a smack in the face of democracy. Imagine if the Government had rejected the EU Referendum vote? There'd be outrage.
Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, overruled the council's rejection of fracking, laying the foundations for shale company Cuadrilla to frack in the county next year, infuriating locals, environmentalists and politicians.
While fracking is at the heart of the argument, it is local autonomy and democracy which are truly at stake. One of the main reasons given by Brexiters for voting Leave was to 'regain' autonomy. The Conservative's decision to overturn a local Government's democratic decision could be taken as an insult to the 52% of those who voted to Leave in the EU referendum. It does not seem like not a democratic step.
Theresa May only a few weeks ago made an impassioned speech about what Brexit meant for local autonomy, heralding the decision's impact on sovereignty: "That is what people voted for: power and authority residing once again with the sovereign institutions of our own country.”
The anti-fracking brigade protesting at Woolston are ordinary people, who are concerned about the impact the decision is going to have on their livelihoods. They want safe drinking water, livable land, and a greener alternative to fossil fuels. Most of all, however, they want their Government to respect their democratic decision to pursue a greener and safer alternative to fracking.
Watch the NQ's report below: