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UKELA welcomes UK Government consultation on post-Brexit environmental principles and a new environmental body

May 15, 2018

Further information
Paul Stookes

UKELA, the independent association of environmental lawyers, welcomed the UK Government’s consultation on a post-Brexit Britain which discusses proposals for a new environmental body designed to hold government and public bodies to account on the environment. The consultation also recognizes the significance of key environmental principles such as the polluter pays and the precautionary principle and discusses how to give them greater legal significance post-Brexit. UKELA will be looking at the consultation paper in detail. It notes that there do not appear to be any proposals for a court-based enforcement system.

UKELA’s Co-Chair of the Brexit Task Force, Begonia Filgueira said that:

“We welcome the Government’s consultation paper on the proposed new environmental body. UKELA’s Brexit Task Force has long advocated the need for a new type of enforcement body to replace the current functions of the European Commission,[1] and we are pleased that the Government has accepted the case for change. We also welcome the Government’s acknowledgment of the importance of environmental principles, and will consider carefully how they should best be embedded in environmental law and policy post-Brexit.

Whatever the view on Brexit, there is now a once in a generation opportunity to improve the environment for the future.”

Andrew Bryce, Co-Chair of the UKELA Brexit Task Force added that:

“UKELA has been at the forefront of the initiatives to fill the governance gap following Brexit and made the case for a new body in its report of July 2017 ‘Enforcement and Accountability Issues’ referenced in the consultation. In addition, UKELA indicated the significance of the international dimension in its detailed report:’The UK and International Environmental Law after Brexit’ published in September 2017 and also referenced.

UKELA wil provide a detailed response to the Consultation to assist the move towards creation of the new Body."

Anne Johnstone, UKELA’s Chair also noted that:

“The consultation is very timely. What’s on the horizon for environmental law in a post-Brexit world is the theme of this year’s UKELA’s annual conference[2] which is to take place at Canterbury University between 22 and 24 June 2018. The consultation will give the opportunity for our members to contribute to the debate and ensure that we have explored every opportunity for getting things right for the environment moving forward.”

There is now a 12-week consultation period which ends of 2.8.18. The consultation paper are available from Defra.



For more information about UKELA and the consultation paper contact:

Dr Paul Stookes

email. paul@ukela.org

tel. 00 44 (0)7736 911487


[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-environment-law-to-deliver-a-green-brexit

[2] UKELA has taken a neutral stance on Brexit decision. Its position in terms of environmental law is at: https://www.ukela.org/UKELAposition

UK Environmental Law Association - Better law for the environment
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