BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 19 July '16

Boris Johnson’s ‘Vote Leave’ battle bus is re-branded outside Parliament

The famous ‘Vote Leave’ battle bus has been acquired by Greenpeace and is being re-branded outside Parliament.

The bogus £350m NHS claim is being covered over with thousands of questions for the new government from Leave and Remain voters – many of them about what Brexit means for the environment.

Time for truth

The questions, written on stickers, are forming a montage that will spell out the words ‘TIME FOR TRUTH’ in huge white letters on the side of the bus.

The battle bus re-brand comes as the new government starts its first full week in office. The Department of Energy and Climate Change has been abolished, while some of the politicians who toured the UK on the bus – including Boris Johnson, Liam Fox and Priti Patel – have been given top jobs. Andrea Leadsom, who also rode the bus, has been made Environment Secretary.

The questions covering the bus have been penned by people from across the country who want the new government to come clean about the direction it is taking Britain.

Greenpeace tracked the bus down last week; it’s the exact same vehicle (registration E14 ACK) with the original livery. The claim on the side was debunked by the UK Statistics Authority.

Laws under threat

So far there are 10,014 questions being stuck onto the bus. Many of the questions have been written by people concerned that the EU laws that protect Nature are now under threat.

One voter, Laura from Swansea, sent Greenpeace this message, which is now on the side of the bus: ‘I voted leave. My greatest concern for our island is to protect what little natural habitat we have left. I hope the government will not let the country down on this issue.’

Paul from Worthing’s message says: ‘When I was young, raw sewage and industrial effluent was being poured into our rivers. Now the rivers are clean enough to bring fish to our cities. Are you going to keep our rivers, landscapes and atmosphere clean or are you going to go backwards?’

‘The referendum campaign was marred by exaggerations and lies, but now we need the truth.  That’s why we’re covering Boris Johnson’s battle bus with thousands of questions for the new government from Leave and Remain voters. People want to know what ministers will do to keep our rivers and beaches clean once EU environment laws no longer apply in Britain. They want to know what the government will do about air pollution and climate change after we Brexit. Some just want to know if their European friends will be allowed to stay here. Only 329 MPs got to vote on who the next Prime Minister would be. The public didn’t get a say, they want answers about the future, and this time they want the truth.’

JOHN SAUVEN
Greenpeace executive director

A team on the bus is writing out the messages as they come in then sticking them over the bogus claim that Britain sends the EU £350m a week that would instead be spent on the NHS.

Environmental protections

Much of the legal framework protecting the countryside – and the wildlife that lives in it – derives from European law. Birds and habitats directives protect animals and birds from industrialisation and unsustainable property development.

The bathing water directive forced British governments to clean up our beaches and rivers, making many of them safe to swim in for the first time in decades.

The farming minister George Eustice – who travelled on the Vote Leave bus – has described European environment directives as ‘spirit-crushing’ and said he wants to see the birds and habitats directives abolished for the UK post-Brexit.

Conservative ministers have tried to water down European air pollution measures. Outside the EU they could be free to adopt weakened measures or even scrap them entirely.

Click here to read Tony Juniper’s article, ‘Brexit: welcome to the future’.