UK in hot water over bathing quality

European Court of Justice advisor recommends condemnation in open-and-shut case

British bathing waters failed to meet EU-required cleanliness standards in 1996 and 1997 and the UK should be condemned for failing to comply with the bloc's 1976 bathing waters directive, an advisor to the European Court of Justice said today. Ruiz-Jarabo Colomer noted that the UK government had already conceded the breach. This makes an eventual judgement against it virtually a foregone conclusion.

Launched in early 2000, the court case is based on data showing that only 89.4% of UK bathing waters were in compliance with EU standards in 1996 and 88.3% in 1997. The UK government described 1997 as an exceptional year, and said that higher compliance would be achieved through ongoing remedial measures.

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