“Most of the laws that protect our wildlife and environment are currently tied to our membership of the European Union. The table below shows the massive impact Brexit could have on how we protect our wildlife. It is therefore good news that the Government’s intent in the Repeal Bill White Paper is to retain all existing environmental laws derived from the European Union. These laws have helped transform the state of our rivers, seas and other special wild places cherished by people across the nation – securing this body of law will be an important first step.
"Now the key challenge is to make sure the legislation retains its power, and to avoid a ‘decaf’ UK-version. We will be pressing for the UK to enact key principles which currently apply to EU law and that are of critical value to wildlife. This includes both the ‘Precautionary Principle’ (where if in doubt about the impact on wildlife of a new development or new pesticide we don’t proceed) and making sure the ‘Polluter Pays’ (for example if a factory releases a toxic chemical into a river the responsibility to clean this up should lie with that factory not the taxpayer).