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South West MEP calls on EU to take responsibility after last year's flooding chaos

By DavidBol  |  Posted: January 15, 2013

South West MEP Graham Watson

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A South West MEP has called on the EU to help stop climate change after the Westcountry was cut off during last year's flooding.

Sir Graham Watson has called on the European Commission to act faster to tackle the affects of climate change, highlighting the severe disruption to transport links from London to the South West in November.

"On one night in November, the two rail lines linking Exeter and London were cut off" he said.

"The M5 and the A30/A303 routes were also severely disrupted in places due to flooding, cutting an entire region off from the rest of the UK.

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"This is unacceptable, and if the many experts, including the Exeter-based Met Office are to be believed, we are going to see more of this, not less.

"We have to adapt our policies in all areas - not just in areas such as energy - immediately, if we are going to stop some of the major disruption we have seen to parts of Europe, such as Devon, Cornwall and Somerset.

"All tiers of government have a responsibility to ensure our transport links are operational all year round, our food supplies are secure and that people's homes and livelihoods are protected from flooding as much as possible.

"At a European level, we can ensure that governments can get hold of emergency funding through the EU Solidarity Fund as well as working with our partners to tackle climate change and mitigate future rises in global temperatures or unsettled weather patterns."

Last year was one of the wettest years on record, with flooding affecting residents and businesses across Dorset and Somerset.

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