New report warns that a “no deal” Brexit outcome poses the worst threats to the environment

©Mark Hamblin/2020VISION

Leaving the EU without a deal could create real risks to the environment

A new report produced by the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), commissioned by The Wildlife Trusts, RSPB, The Woodland Trust, and Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, has warned that leaving the EU without a deal could create real risks to the environment.

The report looks at the potential impact of different Brexit outcomes on environmental policy, using the benchmarks set by the Greener UK coalition. The key findings are that a “no deal” outcome from the Brexit negotiations could have risks both in terms of environmental impacts in the short term, and potentially significant deregulatory pressures in the medium and long term.

The report warns that in a “no deal” scenario “the environmental provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement provisions would not apply; and the UK would rely on domestic policy drivers for environmental governance legislation (which are likely to be less powerful).” It also highlights the possibility of negotiations with potential trading partners leading to pressure for the UK to accept lower product standards from other major trading partners, as well as domestic political pressure for deregulation.

A “no deal” outcome from the Brexit negotiations could have risks both in terms of environmental impacts in the short term, and potentially significant deregulatory pressures in the medium and long term.

In a blog responding to some of the report’s findings, Stephanie Hilborne, The Wildlife Trusts' Chief Executive, writes “The Wildlife Trusts are calling for existing protections for wildlife to be upheld and well-enforced, as well as high environmental standards for farming and fishing. We want to see cross-party commitment to upholding environmental standards as future trade deals are agreed.  We also want ambitious new laws to put nature into recovery.

“In the face of “no deal” all these aims are made more challenging. We cannot afford to delay. We must kick-start nature’s recovery and begin to build a wilder future.”

You can read the full report here