Brexit - Deal or No Deal with the Environment

Brexit! - Deal or No deal with the Environment?  

The question that begs for an answer is:
Could Brexit mean an exit of environmental policies or will we now have the autonomy to set our own laws and targets?  

In the curfuffle over deal and no deal, the environment has but, just been forgotten!   An extension to Brexit has been granted in principle by the EU negotiators, but things are still up in the air!

When Michael Gove was the environment secretary from 2017 to 2019, he did attempt some environmental protection policies such as a radical four-point plan to tie councils to common guidelines that will make recycling less confusing for millions. But a report in the Financial Times on ministers proposing to deviate from green standards set by the European Union, does cause grave concerns.

Most of our environmental laws were drawn up with UK’s agreement in Brussels. Proponents of the environment have often used EU laws to challenge the government on issues regarding air quality, nature, toxics and transparency. Will our policy makers continue to affirm their commitment to strong environmental laws and ensure a united action across Europe on climate change? So far, government ministers have had four chances to guarantee equal environmental standards after Brexit, but have declined the opportunity to follow through.

Many NGOs and advocates of the environment campaigned against Brexit because of the impact it would have on the environment and because a united action across national borders is very necessary on issues such pollution and climate change.

Does Brexit means:

  • Any of the environmental laws such as air quality laws, which the UK has failed to comply in the past, could be weakened further or even scrapped?
  • There are major concerns about the economy and when the economy suffers, sustainability can take a back seat.

Or:

  • In this climate of political and economical uncertainty, sustainability – being adaptable and resilient to change – can be the constant that can guide both corporations and policy makers to promote innovation and growth. This means putting sustainability at the heart of everything that we do both at the government, corporate, and individual levels. It means redrawing the targets and exhibiting best practices on sustainability because it makes financial sense.
  • Brexit gives UK the autonomy to set its own targets and laws on air quality, pollution, waste recycling, nature and climate change which can be as good as or even better than the EU laws.
  • UK can still be a strong voice advocating climate policies with its European counterparts.

Yet to be seen........ but we hope we will pull through in the right direction.