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October, 24 2017

UKELA before the Commons Select Committee on Exiting the EU

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Posted by Rosie Oliver at 14:13


UKELA was delighted to be invited to give evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee on Exiting the European Union. Andrew Bryce, co-chair of our Brexit Task Force, appeared at the third session of the Committee's inquiry into the EU (Withdrawal) Bill on 18th October. The session focused on implications of the Bill for environmental law, chemical regulations, workers’ and consumer rights.

From an environmental point of view, the Committee was particularly interested in how to ensure the law is properly enforced absent the European Commission. Andrew referred them to our report on Enforcement and Political Accountability Issues. Annex 1 gives details of environmental ombudsmen and courts around the world that might offer lessons in how to fill the inevitable enforcement gap that will arise on Brexit. The report singles out the New Zealand Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment as a particularly promising model (at paragraphs 30-31).

You can watch the full session on Parliament TV or read the transcript. More information about the inquiry is available on Parliament's website.

October, 18 2017

Wales, Brexit and Environmental Law: our latest report

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Posted by Rosie Oliver at 16:11

WalesReportCoverLandscapeWe're delighted to release today our fifth report: Wales, Brexit and Environmental Law. The report focuses on the challenges faced in developing environmental law in Wales after Brexit.

Victoria Jenkins, Senior Lecturer at the College of Law and Criminology, Swansea University and author of the report has commented:

“Brexit raises important issues about the relative responsibilities of the UK and devolved governments for environmental protection. From an environmental perspective, there will always be a need for multi-level governance approaches, but it is also important to allow the devolved nations room to respond to their particular social, economic and environmental circumstances. Wales has demonstrated significant ambition and innovation in creating legal frameworks to support the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and the Well-being of Future Generations. Brexit must not stand in the way of the development of this progressive agenda.”

This report makes the following key points:

  • After Brexit, it will be important to maintain common frameworks for action on environmental protection across the UK. New institutional mechanisms involving all four nations in the UK will be necessary to underpin the work on developing these frameworks. There must also be room for devolved approaches in meeting, or indeed exceeding, common environmental standards.
  • The Welsh Government has recently demonstrated significant energy and enthusiasm in developing innovative approaches to environmental protection in Wales. This has resulted in new legal frameworks for sustainable natural resource management and the well-being of future generations. These frameworks, and crucially the principles underpinning them, will be important in providing strategic direction and stability for the future development of Welsh environmental law.
  • The current complexity of the law applicable to Wales and the relationship between devolved and non-devolved powers must also be considered in developing environmental law in the future. Any ambition to create a Welsh Environment Code should not stand in the way of pressing needs for incremental change.
  • The procedures for scrutiny of future Welsh environmental law should be carefully considered. There should be consistency in the approach to scrutinising legislation made further to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill and other laws made by the Assembly. This will require NAW to have control of the procedures to be adopted. Legislation introducing significant changes to environmental protection should be subject to on-going review by the relevant Assembly Committee.

You can read a Welsh Language version of the press release for this report here. As a small charity, we regret that we do not have the funds to translate the report into Welsh.

Tags: Brexit, Wales

About this blog

Welcome to the UKELA Brexit Task Force blog where we consider the impact of Brexit on environmental law, practice and enforcement in the UK
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