Category Archives: Brexit

What does the Withdrawal Agreement say about the environment?

This post is by Stephen Hinchley, principal policy officer, external affairs, RSPB. 

forest smallOn Wednesday 14 November, after almost two years of negotiations and a marathon five hour cabinet meeting, the government published the much awaited draft Withdrawal Agreement. Today the accompanying Political Declaration on the UK’s future relationship with the EU was circulated. Read more

Brexit deal must safeguard environment standards on the island of Ireland

Antrim coast_ PixabayThis post is by Mike Walker, Brexit advisor to the Irish Environmental Pillar and Donal McCarthy, senior policy officer at the RSPB and member of Greener UK’s ‘EU-UK negotiations group’. 

The past few days have seen a frenzy of activity in Brussels as negotiators have burrowed deep in the ‘tunnel’ (the term used to describe intense negotiations without third party disclosure) to seek agreement on the controversial Ireland/Northern Ireland backstop, seen by the EU27 as essential to preventing the re-emergence of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland post Brexit in the absence of other solutions. Read more

The Environment Act should be a Sustainable Economy Act

Two adorable kids, feeding the seagulls on the beachThis post is by Michael Jacobs, director of the IPPR Commission on Economic Justice and former Downing St adviser (2007-10) on environment and climate change.

Crunch time is coming. Over the next few months the government is likely to publish a draft Environment Bill to replace the core principles and institutions of EU environmental policy making which will be lost after Brexit. Though such a bill is unlikely to be passed into law until 2020, most observers expect its core content to be agreed in draft form before next year’s 29 March departure day. Read more

What the new green watchdog can learn from the Committee on Climate Change

This post is by Dr Ajay Gambhir, senior research fellow at Imperial College London’s Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment.

path in park squareThis year marks the tenth anniversary of the UK Climate Change Act, the first of a kind legislation to hold a country to a long term greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal. One of its central components, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), is actually a year older than the act itself, having been established in a non-legislated ‘shadow’ form in 2007, to prepare advice on what the act’s long term emissions goal should be and how it could be achieved. Read more

The new Agriculture Bill has no vision for food

This post is by Tim Lang, professor of food policy, Centre for Food Policy, City, University of London. It has also been published by the Food Research Collaboration.

Tomatoes production line bodyThe Agriculture Bill published last week was long awaited. It’s mostly about money: those £3.2bn Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) subsidies which will start evaporating in seven months.

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What will the Clean Air Strategy really do for people and nature?

Apis_mellifera_-_Senecio_paludosus_-_KeilaThis post is by Jenny Hawley, senior policy officer at Plantlife.

Debate around the government’s Clean Air Strategy has been focused on whether it will cut the roadside nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution from city traffic. But it is also supposed to take a long overdue look at other air quality issues. Read more

How serious is the government about high standards for food and farming?

Various vegetables on display in grocery storeMost of us don’t have to think too much about the food we eat, beyond “what on earth am I going to cook this evening?” We assume there will be food we want at an affordable price, and that, if it is on the shelf, it is safe to eat and has been produced to acceptable environmental and welfare standards. But the new trade relationships we negotiate after Brexit could present significant risks to the UK’s food system which could put an end to this confidence. Read more

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