Since the UK joined the EU in 1973, its approach to environmental policy-making has been profoundly shaped by processes of Europeanisation.
What would Brexit mean for the UK environment?

Brexit have become a major concern for UK’s public especially for environmentalist and activists. Most probably, the withdrawal will affect the UK’s commitment to maintaining high importance on environmental targets, such as the current EU climate goals and green policies. The imposition of barriers to trade, the loss  of  access  to  EU  agencies  and  the  weakening  of  UK-EU  environmental co-operationall present risks.

Both remain and leave campaigners are criticizing the deal vigorously. They bring some reasons for their concerns and want to inform public to force politicians to save nature of UK. Remainers have expressed views that the deal highlights the influence the UK is giving up, whereas, Leavers believe there will still be a dominant EU influence in the deal, disallowing them to get rid of various environmental regulations and EU legislation post-Brexit.

As a no-deal Brexit is getting improved, there are still strong fears about the UK’s ability to enforce high environmental standards post-Brexit and the ability to work with the EU to hasten green investment, in addition to ensuring a positive EU-UK trade deal.

When we want to speak about the effects of Brexit on the UK, we cannot deny that UK environmental law has been heavily influenced by EU laws, and Brexit presents both opportunities and challenges to its long-term development. It is foreseeable that EU environmental saw will continue to have legal effect in the UK after Brexit under the UK’s policy of “roll-over”. But it is obvious that other features of the EU environmental architecture will need to be replicated after Brexit—notably the role of general environmental principles, and the European Commission’s supervisory role to be sure that environmental law is properly applied by government.

The possibility that these EU protections might be lost or weakened if we’re outside the EU is the main environmental risk of Brexit. Some laws might not be correctly transferred, while others could be made easier to change in the future.

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Brexit deal includes some laws in which there is a section “non-regression in the level of environmental protection” which outlines specific commitments ensuring that the UK and EU’s environmental and climate policies remain broadly aligned on a number of issues. According to this section, the UK and EU “Must be sure that the level of environmental protection provided by law, regulations and practices is not weaken below the level described by the common standards applicable within the Union and the United Kingdom at the end of the transition period.”

This risk is not just about environmental laws. The legal mechanisms to properly implement and enforce them also originate in the EU. This could leave us with gaps in our environmental protections and difficulties in enforcing our laws.

Nobody can reject this reality that the EU law has been fruitful in the protection of the UK environment; and having created around 80 per cent of the UK’s environmental, including the EU-wide target for 50 per cent of municipal waste to be recycled or reused by 2020.

Air pollution is a big problem in the UK specifically in London and it travels across borders. The environmental problems we face worldwide are bigger than the UK. Migrating birds face increasing risks and climate change is a very real and urgent threat that needs global action. We need to work on these issues at home and tackle them and also with our European neighbours, and globally. However, these problems are a multiple ones and need a global cooperation and we cannot solve it alone.

There will be greater risks if the UK leave the EU without a deal. Imagine the government striving to manage after-Brexit’s problems, It this situation, it is inevitable to make new trade deals and keep the country running, so, protecting and improving our environment is likely to be forgotten by politicians and won’t be at the priority list. 

We must consider this reality that most of our issues will be affected by Brexit such as nature, air pollution, plastics and fracking. This is because the UK will no longer be held accountable by EU laws that safeguard the environment. So, we can play an important role to guarantee the EU’s environmental laws by campaigning around Brexit. But if we procrastinate forcing UK’s politicians, this would threaten the natural environment on which we all rely for our health, food, commodities and existence. 


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