This post is by David Lawrence, senior political adviser at the Trade Justice Movement.
The UK has not had the power to strike its own trade agreements for nearly 50 years, due to EU membership. However, many people – and indeed many MPs – will be surprised to learn that, even after Brexit, parliament will have virtually no say over our trade agreements. Read more
This post is by Tom West, UK environment lead at ClientEarth.
Where does your stuff come from? It’s a classic environmental refrain to consider the origin of the clothes you wear, the food you eat and all the general stuff you accumulate. So the UK government’s ambitions to sign new trade deals and open our markets to new goods from around the world is really very relevant to those who care about how things are made. Read more
This post is by Andy Jordan and Brendan Moore, who are respectively co-chair and research associate at Brexit&Environment.
The fate of the trade negotiations between the EU and the UK will hinge on the ability of both sides to strike a deal on the so-called ‘level playing field’ provisions that prevent either side from lowering (or ‘regressing’) their environmental standards to secure a competitive advantage. Read more
The Brexit debate has largely been an internal squabble among British factions vying for control of the UK’s national priorities. This has meant international pressures have lacked consideration in public discourse, particularly when it comes to the UK’s post-Brexit trading environment. Read more
This post is by Hatti Owens, ClientEarth UK environment lawyer
From the UK’s global carbon footprint to the quality of the products we import, trade deals have real world impacts on the environment. How the UK decides its future trade policy outside the protection of the European Union is of real importance.
With some politicians and groups – such as the Institute for Economic Affairs – calling for deregulation, environmentalists might, therefore, take heart from the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan, which states that “environmental sustainability should be at the very heart of global production and trade”.
It’s a lovely sentiment, but unfortunately yet to be borne out by reality. Read more
This week, world leaders meeting at the COP in Katowice are under pressure to act on the IPCC’s recent warning that to limit global warming to 1.5°C requires “rapid and far-reaching systems transitions occurring during the coming one to two decades, in energy, land, urban, and industrial systems.” Read more
Greener UK’s aim has always been to get the best possible environmental outcome from Brexit. We have not taken sides on how the UK should leave the EU or whether it should do so, but have focused instead on the things we can clearly influence. Read more
“As petroleum came to the relief of the whale,” said an 1878 promotional pamphlet for the world’s first industrial plastic, “so has celluloid given the elephant, the tortoise, and the coral insect a respite in their native haunts, and it will no longer be necessary to ransack the earth in pursuit of substances which are constantly growing scarcer.” Read more
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.
The 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.
Most 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