Brexit is hurting our environment

Early signs of Brexit’s impact on our environment have been worrying. Just a matter of days after the UK departed from the EU’s regulatory arrangements we have already seen the Government approve use of bee-killing chemicals and permit the continued export of plastic waste – both activities banned by the EU. 

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) set out seven tests during the transition period to assess whether the UK departure from the EU would help rather than hinder our efforts to tackle the climate and ecological emergency. 

The EU/UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) arrived on Christmas Eve.  In the attached blog, the RSPB offers its understanding of what the TCA says, what it means for nature before then providing an assessment against the seven tests they set.  A more detailed analysis of progress in each of the Four Nations is shown in the file attached at the bottom of this blog.

If you want to jump to the punchline, here it is…

…better than no deal, that would have been disastrous for nature

…despite some quirks, it is, compared with other trade deals, quite progressive from an environmental perspective

…however, if it is expected to provide the final piece to the Brexit puzzle and bridge the environmental gaps arising from the UK’s departure (and with it the return of numerous legislative, regulatory and governance responsibilities), then it falls short

…there is still a lot of work to do to replace the environmental protections that were afforded through our membership of the EU

…we have even more work to do (either side of the Channel) to ensure we have the right legal, policy and financial framework to adequately address the nature and climate emergency.

Image of Kingfisher via Andreas Trepte, CC BY-SA 2.5