Neil McNaughton
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The environment

This chapter provides a review of the ways in which the environment became a more prominent issue. It also provides a detailed description and assessment of New Labour environmental policies after 1997. Having drifted around the margins of British and European politics in the 1960s and 1970s, the environment moved closer to centre stage in the 1980s. Environmental protection became a European Union (EU) concern in 1987. Part of New Labour's 'third way' philosophy was to accept environmentalism as a key political issue. Although Tony Blair's party is committed to supporting business, it argues that this can only be done provided environmental concerns are addressed. In other words, it contains a belief that industrial development and environmental concerns can be compatible, an idea which many campaigners see as impossible. The diversity of New Labour policies reflects the breadth of the issue in itself.

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