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UK Environmental Audit Committee Calls for Brexit Environmental Protection Law

Anita Lloyd, an attorney with Squire Patton Boggs, wrote at Lexology about the UK Environmental Audit Committee's published report that makes a series of recommendations for actions that the Government should take during the Brexit process to avoid weakening levels of environmental protection after Britain leaves the EU.

In the report, titled "The Future of the Natural Environment after the EU Referendum," the key recommendation is that a new Environmental Protection Act must be put forward during the Article 50 negotiation period, she said, to provide an equivalent or better level of environmental protection to that which is currently in place. The Committee sees this as a pre-requisite to ensure the Government meets its manifesto pledge to "be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than it found it."

The environment secretary Andrea Leadsom has previously acknowledged that up to a third of the existing body of EU environmental legislation cannot readily be transposed into UK domestic law because of technical issues, and that work will be needed to make them work once Britain leaves the EU. The Committee urges the Government to identify this legislation before Article 50 is triggered to ensure full public and parliamentary debate and scrutiny of how this should be dealt with.

Lloyd pointed out that this report is the first in a series of inquiries to be carried out by this Committee in relation to Brexit. The next report in the series has already been launched, titled "The Future of Chemicals Regulation after the EU Referendum."


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