THE Bishop of Salisbury has called for environmental issues take a more prominent role in the debate over Britain's future in the EU.

Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam said Britain has taken stand on the environment in recent years which has made other countries "clean their acts up".

The Church of England speaker on climate change also called for the voices of younger voters to be heard ahead of the June 23 referendum.

“It is not the job of a Bishop to push people to vote in any particular way," he said. "The scope of the debate, however, is something where I do have a duty to speak out.

“Environmental issues have not played much of a role in the campaign so far, yet they will be one of the key factors in deciding how I and many others will vote.

“Most environmental groups say that EU laws are a major reason why England is obviously a cleaner, greener, and more pleasant land than it was during my childhood.

“I’d like to hear both sides of the debate address this issue. For example, can the Leave side reassure us by explaining how they see us remaining a world leader, with real influence on cutting carbon emissions, if we opt for Brexit?

“I’m also concerned that younger voters are not being heard much in the debate.

“This referendum should not be decided on the basis of short term gain. As a grandfather, the world my grandchildren will inherit weighs most heavily on my mind.”