New research which analysed the views of Conservative Party supporters has shown a majority would like to maintain EU environmental regulations after Brexit.
The study, which was carried out by Bright Blue, a ‘liberal conservative’ think tank, will put pressure on the Government to abandon plans for a red tape bonfire.
It revealed 93 per cent of Conservative Party supporters wanted to keep protections for habitats and wildlife; 85 per cent wanted restrictions on the use of pesticides and fertilisers in agriculture and 63 per cent wanted a ban on the production of genetically modified crops.
Most wanted payments to farmers to continue – 61 per cent – but they were split on whether the money should be used to encourage food production (41 per cent) or to improve the environment (41 per cent).
Report author Sam Hall said: “This report has shown a majority of Conservatives are concerned about climate change and the natural environment. They support many environmental policies.
“There is no mandate from its own voters, therefore, for the Conservative Government to scale back environmental policies. Instead, there is strong support among all kinds of Conservatives for the Government to adopt a more ambitious, conservative agenda on the environment.”
The research was published as European Council President Donald Tusk attempted to constrain the UK’s freedom to slash environmental regulations and subsidise farmers after Britain leaves the EU.
In the union’s draft guidelines for Brexit talks, Mr Tusk said any future free trade agreement between the UK and the rest of the bloc must ‘ensure a level playing field in terms of competition and state aid, and encompass safeguards against unfair competitive advantages through fiscal, social and environmental dumping’.