Post-referendum implications for environmental law—an academic perspective

Post-referendum implications for environmental law—an academic perspective

EU environmental law often confers rights on individuals that they can enforce before their national courts, but what happens if we trigger article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) and leave? Andy Jordan, professor of environmental sciences, and Dr Viviane Gravey, associate tutor at UEA, and Dr Charlotte Burns, senior lecturer at the University of York, talk us through the likely scenarios.

What is the process for withdrawing from the EU?

Since the adoption of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty there has been an official process for withdrawal. It is contained in TEU, art 50. It is up to the Member State intent on leaving the EU to initiate the withdrawal process, and for the European Council to negotiate a withdrawal agreement with the departing state. This withdrawal agreement could set out the terms of the departing state’s future relationship with the EU or this could be set out in a separate agreement.

What practical steps will the UK government take given the result to leave the EU?

There was no consensus within the Leave campaign about what a UK after Brexit would look like, or the UK’s preferred trading relationship with the EU. An immediate priority for the leave camp is to agree a new vision for the UK’s relationship with the EU which may inform the Conservative leadership election, a UK wide general election and/or even a second EU referendum. There are some legal commentators who argue that a decision to trigger TEU, art 50 would have to be sanctioned by the UK Parliament, although others believe that this could be triggered by the government acting under the so-called royal prerogative.

What are the short-term implications for environmental law of the result to leave the EU?

Until the UK exits the EU, EU environmental law will continue to apply in the UK. How will the UK and the other 27 Member States behave in the renegotiation? Will they collaborate? Will they conflict? It is

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