UKELA's work on Brexit

UKELA's Brexit Task Force is now formally disbanded. In its place the Governance and Devolution Group (GDG) has been established.  Read about the GDG and its work on the dedicated pages.

UKELA established a Brexit Task Force in September 2016 to advise the Association on matters related to the UK's withdrawal from the European Union ('Brexit'). Visit the Brexit Task Force page for more information about the work of the group.


UKELA produced a series of reports and factsheets in the Brexit and Environmental Law series:



Consultations and Inquiries

UKELA's Governance and Devolution Group (GDG) submission to the House of Lords EU and Environment Committee on Environment (including climate) and the level playing field in the UK-EU future relationship negotiations made in July 2020. Read about the GDG on our dedicated pages.

Our submission formed part of a long letter from the Committee to Defra, copied to BIES and the Cabinet Office.  Read the letter below.

UKELA’s Scottish Working Party response to the consultation paper published by the Scottish Government

The UK Environmental Law Association’s Wales Working Party Response to the Welsh Government Consultation on Environmental Principles and Governance in Wales Post European Union Exit

House of Lords Energy and Environment Committee, on the Environment Bill

UKELA submitted its response to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' consultation (May 2018) on establishing environmental principles and a new body to safeguard the environment post-Brexit. Read it in full below.

UKELA has submitted evidence to several Parliamentary Committee enquiries on Brexit:

House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-committee inquiry into impact of Brexit on UK's trade in waste

House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee’s inquiry into ‘UK progress on reducing F-Gas emissions'

House of Commons Committee on Exiting the European Union inquiry into the EU (Withdrawal) Bill

House of Lords European Union Committee's report, 'Brexit: environment and climate change'

House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee’s inquiry into ‘The Future of Chemicals Regulation after the EU Referendum inquiry’

House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee’s inquiry into ‘Future of the natural environment in the light of the EU referendum’

House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee’s inquiry on ‘Leaving the EU: implications for energy policy’

House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee's inquiry into 'the extent to which EU environmental objectives and policies have succeeded in tackling environmental issues in the UK'.

  • UKELA gave written and oral evidence. The view was that EU environmental policy and legislation has, on balance, had a significant and very positive influence on the environment in the UK, with related economic benefits.

The Government's 'Environment and climate change: review of balance of competences’ review in 2013/2014.


Working Party Papers

UKELA's specialist working parties have been taking a closer look at the possible implications of withdrawing for different areas of environmental law. The papers that follow set out their findings and conclusions.


On 14 May 2019, UKELA’s Wales Working Party held a seminar on the Welsh Government Consultation on Environmental Principles and Governance in Wales Post European Union Exit. The event was attended by UKELA members and other interested organisations.

On 2 May 2019 UKELA's Scottish committee organised a half day conference in Edinburgh focussing on the Scottish Government consultation on environmental principles and governance in Scotland. Speakers from academia, industry, the legal profession and government took part.

On 14 January 2019 UKELA co-organised a half-day conference with Client Earth and WWF on A First Response to the Environment Bill: The New Body, the Courts, and the Future of UK Environmental Law at University College London with speakers representing government, industry, academia and the legal profession.

UKELA held a half day conference on 'Brexit, the Withdrawal Bill and the Environment' in London on Friday 13 October 2017. The event considered topics ranging from the roll-over of environmental law under the Withdrawal Bill (and challenges in substantive areas), to consideration of enforcement and accountability after Brexit. It was chaired by UKELA President Lord Carnwath and featured speakers from Defra, private practice and academia, with a keynote speech by Tom Burke, UKELA Patron.

UKELA held a number of events exploring what a decision to withdraw might mean for our environmental laws and policies. These seminars and conferences have featured policy experts, lawyers, academics, regulators and a representative of the Commission.