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Environmental effects of Brexit

(10 Posts)
DamsonGin Tue 07-Nov-17 12:42:59

Apologies if this has been covered elsewhere, please post me a link if it has.

Does anyone know if any studies have been done lately on what the potential impacts of Brexit may be on the environment?

I'd be grateful if anyone has any non-political links, especially to any science based studies.

It's my field, though I'm on a bit of a career break and feel a bit out of touch, so I'm happy for some heavyweight stuff if you can throw it at me.

I'm rather concerned about the impacts on pollution, wildlife and climate change, both from whatever legislation we end up with post-EU and also from greater air freight from global trading. I'd like though to be a bit more informed on where we're at if that's possible.

woman11017 Tue 07-Nov-17 17:16:27

Scientists for Europe are posting much more knowledgeably on this, but here's an article, OP.

Yep. Us humans may be pretty dispensable to the brexiteers, but the environment can't be.

If Britain severs its adherence to EU policies, no environmental legislation from the EU would hold Britain to anything but export standards. Britain then would have the initiative to weaken environmental laws, strengthen them, or maintain existing laws and policies, making new judgment calls on environmental standards across Britain. This would undoubtedly be a lengthy and laborious process, and Britain risks entering a vacuum in which it discards existing environmental laws and regulations before new ones can be planned and implemented. In addition, past attempts by political conservatives to weaken environmental policies puts Britain at risk for regression in domestic environmental protection and standards more than ever—especially in the case of an economic dip as a result of the referendum.

In light of the Brexit, Britain plays an important role in the environmental future of Europe. Without the European Union, however, Britain’s environmental consciousness is clouded by either frustration and lack of participation, or risk and uncertainty. Without the European Union, Britain may cease to see growth and investment for greener businesses, and consistent standards for the protection of their wildlife and public areas may be watered down. Without the European Union, Britain cannot push for better Agricultural and Fishery policies for Europe nor influence international rules and regulations protecting the environment at the same level.

The consequences of climate change and environmental destruction know no political borders, and Britain’s close cooperation with the EU and the international arena is essential. Environmental health and protection were not key issues going into Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, but the consequences of the vote may significantly reveal the inseverable link between environmental issues and economic, social, and political wellness.

Stinky pre EU style poo beaches, nuclear powers stations run by Arron Banks' wife grin, no more set aside, lost meadow and wet land habitats, loss of funding for environmental projects, worsening death rate due to pollution in cities?

On the other hand, a silver lining might be:
the economic crash may be so severe that petrol shortages mitigate pollution and a skint country won't be able to build the environmental travesty which is the HS2 . smile

DamsonGin Tue 07-Nov-17 21:30:43

Thank you, I'll look up Scientists for Europe, I think I might have stumbled across them before.

I get the feeling there's definitely a fear of regressing into being the dirty old man of Europe again, it would certainly be a great shame to lose the cooperation on the global level things.

And the silver lining - the petrol shortage of 2006ish, I remember people suddenly being very conscious of fuel economy then, maybe if we have to be more self sufficient or cost conscious of costs, we'll be a bit smarter with energy. You never know.

I'll check out the mn link.

woman11017 Tue 07-Nov-17 21:57:04

Wrong link blush
Yes, the petrol strike was 2000, I think, just as one of mine was born. Health visitors couldn't visit as there was no petrol. smile
The volcano cloud made the skies peaceful, so no planes might be nice too.

DamsonGin Tue 07-Nov-17 22:13:12

I'd forgotten the volcano, which is daft given how highly they feature on my bucket list.

I only just make it home from site work in Wales that week, the road were so quite and slow, doing a steady 50 in fifth.

Carolinesbeanies Wed 08-Nov-17 01:51:31

Or you could try Scientists for Britain OP, who have debunked most of this.

But hey, of course Brexit britain is going to be a stinky poo filled place where stinky stupid poo filled people live.

We're positively neanderthal. hmm

woman11017 Wed 08-Nov-17 06:27:18

Interesting culture neanderthals, don't knock them! grin

Thanks for starting this OP, it's an area I am really interested in, so will post a few things I'm finding anyway. smile

Lucas is not surprisingly, the most detailed on impact and solutions, in so much as they're possible.

A taskforce of environmental lawyers is drawing up plans to stop thousands of EU rules protecting rivers, wildlife, coastlines and air quality from being dropped by the government after Brexit.

The EU is the source of most environmental protection in Britain and for 40 years has acted as a monitoring body and enforcer, with powers to fine member states for breaches in the law.

But the process of transferring EU laws, directives, regulations and principles – such as the “polluter pays principle” – into UK law under the government’s great repeal bill presents huge challenges, environmental lawyers say. There are fears that the complexity and scale of the work, and political resistance to European regulations will mean key protections are lost during the rollover into domestic legislation.

Richard Macrory, professor of environmental law at University College London, is leading the taskforce of lawyers. He said: “The last thing we want to find in Britain are a whole lot of legal gaps in the protections. The rollover [in the repeal bill] is going to be straightforward in some areas and more challenging in others. And in some areas unless there are particular agreements made with the EU it is going to be not at all easy.”

^UK risks becoming 'dumping ground' for plastic after Brexit
His team is made up of members of the UK Environmental Law Association (Ukela)^.

More than 1,100 pieces of EU legislation relate to the environment. These include chemicals regulation, marine and coastal policies, laws on noise pollution, the quality of our soil, waste and recycling, air quality, climate change and the protection of species.

One of the key areas Brussels has been responsible for over the last 40 years is enforcement of legislation through the European commission and the court of justice of the European Union – where proceedings against member states who have failed to comply with their obligations can be taken.

After Brexit there will be no equivalent monitoring and enforcement body which has powers to levy fines to make sure the UK government abides by environmental protections.

Macrory said most cases brought before the commission in the past had involved the environmental sector.

One of the most important functions of the EU has been to supervise how member states implement their obligations,” he said. “These processes apply to all areas of law but the majority of cases have been brought in the environmental sector. There is a reason for that. In most areas of law there are very clear economic and legal interest groups who will protect their rights.”

But he said the environmentwas unowned and, quoting the veteran environmental lawyer Ludwig Krämer, added: “The environment dies in silence.”

Ministers told the House of Lords this year that the enforcement role could be carried out by UK courts via judicial reviews raised by NGOs or individuals. But Macrory said these were costly and complicated.

So will something be replicated here after Brexit?” he said. “The government response to date has been rather unimaginative and minimalist – they say we can rely on judicial reviews brought by NGOs.

We will question whether relying on judicial review is a sufficient substitute for a more systematic and independent supervisory function performed by the commission

He compared taking a judicial review – which costs as a minimum thousands of pounds – with a citizen complaint, which an individuals can take to the European commission for the price of a stamp if they believe their government has not upheld environmental protections or broken laws relating to the environment.

Sarah Mukherjee, director of environment for Water UK, which represents all water companies, recently told a Lords inquiry on the impact of Brexit on the environment, it was the ability to impose financial sanctions – something the British supreme court could not do – which focused government’s mind

Governments pay a lot of attention to the risk of being infracted because it is very expensive and it is not brilliant for your reputation,” she said

The Lords EU committee on Brexit: environment and climate change concluded in its inquiry that judicial reviews in domestic courts would not amount to a sufficient enforcement body

Peers said: “The evidence … strongly suggests that an effective and independent domestic enforcement mechanism will be necessary in order to fill the vacuum left by the European commission … such enforcement will need to be underpinned by judicial oversight and we note the concerns.. That existing domestic judicial review procedures may be inadequate and costly

Macrory and his team will publish five reports on key areas of EU law and governance which must be retained in British law or replicated in the coming weeks

#8 Resources and funding for the environment are a significant issue. The EU has devoted a considerable slice of expenditure to protecting national environments, most notably via the LIFE+ fund, the CAP Pillar II, aspects of regional and development policy, research and development etc

That’s been reinforced by a formal commitment to allocate 20% of EU expenditure to climate change related activities, covering both mitigation and adaptation. This establishes an important principle in environmental terms and has triggered a process to scrutinize expenditure from a climate perspective

And why should MN posters care about the environment:

1 How many of us have kids and family suffering right now from dangerous levels of air pollution, only to get worse after brexit?

2 I remember the state of british beaches pre EU;, they were filthy.

3 Without Euratom, who manages british nuclear industry?

Mistigri Wed 08-Nov-17 06:37:09

The environmental impact will depend on the type of Brexit and the terms of any trade deal with the EU.

The EU is working on its strategy for a future trade deal, and one of their priorities will be to ensure that the UK does not undercut EU environmental standards.

woman11017 Wed 08-Nov-17 06:45:51

Good point, misti the trade and environment aren't mutually exclusive.

LurkingHusband Thu 09-Nov-17 12:18:10

We're positively neanderthal.

Which is a statement of fact.

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