This post is by Georgina Holmes-Skelton, head of government affairs at the National Trust.
The environmental principles set out in EU treaties and law were the bedrock of the UK’s legal framework for protecting the environment while it was a member of the EU. Now we need to decide what our own version of these crucial legal foundations will look like in UK domestic law. This presents a challenge to ensure that the protections we have are not undermined or diminished, but also a rare and crucial opportunity.
This post is by Professor Maria Lee, co-director of the Centre for Law and the Environment at UCL.
Defra’s Draft environmental principles policy statement has finally been published for consultation. This statement is a crucial part of the move from EU law and policy, to the domestic regime set out for England by the Environment Bill. This move involves shifting from a system in which the environmental principles were systemic and legally binding, to one in which they will be creatures of government policy not law, considered only in ministerial policy making rather than across the board, and subject to deep carve outs.
This post is by Sarah Graham of WWF Cymru.
With 22 days until we leave the European Union, the Welsh government’s plans for how it intends to retain and improve environmental protections remain a mystery. Unlike its counterparts in England and Scotland, it has not published any consultation proposals or draft legislation. Leaving the EU without these plans in place could have very damaging implications for people and nature. Read more
This post is by Ciara Brennan, Mary Dobbs, Viviane Gravey and Attracta Uí Bhroin, authors of a recent report on what Brexit means for Northern Ireland environmental governance.
The influence of EU membership on environmental governance in Northern Ireland has been profound. Now Brexit raises the very real possibility of major environmental governance gaps right across the UK. A risk which is exacerbated in Northern Ireland where environmental decision making and the implementation of environmental law is notoriously problematic.
The EU (Withdrawal) Bill is rapidly approaching the end of its parliamentary journey, but it does so with a distinct whiff of unfinished business in relation to the environment.