Start News Brexit: Environmentalists sound the alarm

Brexit: Environmentalists sound the alarm

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A victim of Brexit could be the environment. Because once Britain leaves the EU, it is no longer bound by the EU’s environmental standards. Replacement rules are so far but hardly. British conservationists are raising alarm: they fear that Brexit will become an environmental sin with unimaginable damage to nature and the climate.

Whether air pollution or waste disposal – 80 percent of the environmental protection guidelines that apply in the UK today come from the EU from Brussels. Head of Government Theresa May had indeed announced last year to incorporate their contents in the UK legislation. But not much has happened so far, complain environmentalists.
No-deal as a horror scenario also for the environment

When drawing up its own environmental policy after leaving the EU, the London government has „a tremendous amount of catching up to do,“ says Richard Black, director of the Energy and Climate Unit – a London-based think tank on environmental issues. Especially in the case of a chaotic Brexit without a withdrawal agreement with Brussels, the government will have its hands full with other issues, but not with environmental protection.

A no-deal-brexit is a horror scenario for environmentalists: in this case, for example, Britain would lose access to the EU database on dangerous chemicals, it would fall out of marine protection programs, and garbage could pile up everywhere – so far Britain is one of the largest exporters of waste in the EU.
Founded office for environmental protection

Activists fear that key ministries like Brexit’s transportation, housing and finance will try to score with lax rules instead of the comparatively strict EU directives at the expense of the environment. A problem after the Brexit will be that then Brits can no longer complain before European courts on the compliance with the environmental protection regulations.

According to London’s plans, environmental supervision should lie with a new institution. This Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) aims to „provide a strong system of liability“. However, legal experts and environmentalists have expressed concerns about whether the new office will actually have enough power and independence.

According to current planning, the government should decide for itself who is leading the OEP and how much money is available to it. „That does not sound like the strong facility we’ve been promised to further defend the environment,“ said Kierra Box of Friends of the Earth. It was also far from clear whether the OEP would be created on the day of the EU’s exit. Until it was so far, threatened „for natural spaces and species undreamt of damage“.