The UK was pushed to the bottom of the European league table 2020 for bathing water quality at coastal and inland sites.

It was rivalled only by Poland, where just 22 per cent of sites were rated excellent, in the 31-country rankings of EU member and associated states.

The other 29 countries all had at least 50 per cent of the monitored bathing sites classified as excellent quality, and for the vast majority, the figure was at least 70 per cent.

The UK has performed poorly in bathing water quality for years, regularly appearing near the bottom of the table. But now we are bringing up the rear one last time.

The 2020 data will be the last to include the UK, as the UK has chosen to opt-out post-Brexit, meaning no such comparisons will be possible in future.

An investigation last year found that water companies poured raw sewage into rivers on more than 20,000 occasions in 2019, and dumped thousands of tonnes of raw sewage on beaches.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said Brexit enabled the UK to create ‘world-leading legislation, delivering better environmental outcomes’. Are the world-beating environmental standards just another broken Brexit promise?

Lars Kramm, Manor Heath, Copmanthorpe