17 July 2017
Environmental law vision to be laid out post-Brexit
Current UK environmental law will be safeguarded as the country makes its withdrawal from the European Union (EU), but details for the future remain uncertain.
The Repeal Bill, formally known as the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill was released last week and described by Brexit Minister David Davis as "one of the most significant pieces of legislation that has ever passed through Parliament".
Designed to offer 'legal certainty' ahead of Brexit, the Bill sets out that all key pieces of legislation will continue to apply until the point that the government lays fresh law in its place.
In supporting documents to the Bill, it was also revealed that parliament will endeavour to convert "the existing body of EU environmental law into UK law, making sure the same protections are in place in the UK and laws still function effectively after the UK leaves the EU."
The government has also pledged to create a comprehensive 25 Year Environment Plan - pitched since 2015 - which will set out how it plans to "improve our environment as we leave the European Union and take control of our environmental legislation again."
An environmental briefing document reads: "We remain committed to safeguarding and protecting the UK's long history of environmental protection.
"The Bill will incorporate existing EU environmental law into UK law and, as such, is intended to give certainty and continuity to business and organisations. We will also uphold our obligations under international environmental treaties.
"Any future changes to our legislation will be subject to the usual parliamentary scrutiny. We will work closely with communities, environmental organisations and other stakeholders to help build our future plans for environmental protection."