Brexiteer tries to blame EU for recent floods

PUBLISHED: 14:39 21 February 2020 | UPDATED: 14:39 21 February 2020

A Question Time audience member tried to blame the EU for recent floods. Photograph: BBC.

A Question Time audience member tried to blame the EU for recent floods. Photograph: BBC.

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A Brexiteer on Question Time has tried to blame the European Union for recent flooding in the UK.

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In a point that went mostly unchallenged, an audience member responded to a debate about the government's response to the floods by blaming the European Union.

She asked: "Why have the EU stopped dredging the rivers? And they wouldn't have flooded in the first place?"

The woman received a single clap of approval from another guest who had called for the UK's borders to be closed to immigrants moments before.

It prompted presenter Fiona Bruce to ask: "Why the EU did or why we did?"

But the audience member clarified that it was the EU's responsibility.

"Just why have they stopped dredging all the rivers across the country and then we wouldn't have this problem?".

One viewer called it "incredible ignorance" before pointing out the "individuals, businesses and public bodies" are already responsible for dredging, despite believing it is not the cause for flooding.

Another pointed out that "dredging is a responsibility of the UK Environment Agency NOT the EU."

Others asked why these sorts of points are not corrected by the programme.

"BBC Question Time should really be correcting the misinformed woman who blamed the recent flooding on 'the EU stopping dredging the rivers'. Why not fact check her on the spot? Or not include her nonsense," tweeted Jim Cognito.

"This is total garbage. Are you going to correct this lie before the programme ends?" asked Anne-Marie Kane.

A spokesperson for the European Commission has previously said member states decide their own rules on how to manage their water courses - and the EU's directives simply prohibit undertaking it if it disturbs certain habitats.

The rules, introduced in 2000, include the possibility of exceptions due to unforeseen circumstances such as the possibility of flooding or drought.

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