Environmental laws maintained in Repeal Bill post Brexit

07 Aug 2017


Environmental laws maintained in Repeal Bill post Brexit

Following the publication of the Government’s long-awaited Repeal Bill, which is intended to convert existing EU laws into UK domestic law as the UK exits the European Union, the environmental aspects are becoming clear.

Reiterating its commitment to environmental protections, the bill post-Brexit will be to improve the legislation and make it more ‘outcome driven’.

The Government has published an Environmental Protections Fact sheet, with the following key questions addressed:

Will the UK continue to meet its international environmental commitments?

The UK will continue to play an active role internationally as demonstrated by the UK ratifying the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. We will continue to uphold our obligations under international environmental treaties such as the Montreal and Gothenburg Protocols, the Stockholm Convention, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

How will the government be held responsible for making sure it complies with its own environmental regulations?

The UK has always had a strong legal framework for enforcing environmental protections and this will continue. This includes provisions for regulators to enforce our existing environmental regulations, and our system of judicial review and its body of public law that enables decisions and actions of public authorities to be challenged through the UK courts.

It is, and it will remain, the role of Parliament to hold the executive to account, and Parliament is ultimately accountable to the electorate. That will not change on our departure from the EU.

Will the views of external stakeholders be taken into account during the renegotiation process?

We will produce a comprehensive 25 Year Environment Plan that will chart how we will improve our environment as we leave the European Union and take control of our environmental legislation again.

Our ambition across Government is to work with the public and organisations right across the country to help us build our future plans for environmental protection. The Government has already begun engaging closely with the public, NGOs and industry, hearing from them how we should drive environmental protection and agriculture forward.

For more information, see The Repeal Bill Factsheet 8: Environmental protections