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‘No-deal’ Brexit raises fears for future environmental standards

Words: Huw Morris
'No deal' Brexit raising environmental fears / iStock-928445760

The threat of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit is amplifying concerns at how the government will maintain and enforce environmental standards, according to a coalition of 13 green groups.

The latest ‘Risk Tracker’, issued by Greener UK, warns that “tentative progress” in the Brexit preparations across several key environmental areas has stalled in recent months, causing widespread uncertainty for green businesses.

Serious concerns remain over how the government will maintain environmental standards, tackle air pollution and manage waste after the UK leaves the EU, despite government promises of an environment bill later this year.

These concerns are mounting after the spate of ministerial resignations and political infighting, which have raised the prospect of a ‘no-deal’ outcome, says the tracker. Many of the MPs leading calls for a ‘no-deal’ Brexit or a very limited trade agreement with the EU have in the past campaigned for a weakening of environmental standards and climate policies, it notes.

“The proposed environment bill presents a priceless opportunity to improve our environment,” Greener UK coalition chair Shaun Spiers said. “But with only months remaining to reach an agreement with the EU, there is a huge amount to resolve in very little time.

“The prospect of a no-deal Brexit risks undermining all the government’s good intentions for a ‘Green Brexit’. More and more serious people despair of reaching a deal, and some unserious but worryingly influential people within the UK seem to relish the prospect of a no-deal Brexit. Ministers must do everything they can to prevent it.”

Image credit | iStock