Brexit—impact on environmental law
Brexit—impact on environmental law

The following Environment guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Brexit—impact on environmental law
  • Background—EU environmental remit
  • Brexit—the withdrawal process
  • White paper on UK-EU future relationship—environmental aspects
  • European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018—environmental provisions
  • Environment Bill
  • Withdrawal Agreement
  • Political Declaration
  • UK-EU future relationship negotiations—environmental aspects
  • Nuclear Safeguards Act 2018
  • more

As a result of the 23 June 2016 UK referendum on membership of the EU, which voted with a 52% majority voting in favour of the UK leaving the EU, government published the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (EU(W)A 2018). EU(W)A 2018 makes a range of legislative provisions in connection with the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, to provide a functioning statute book post Brexit.

As a general rule — the same rules and laws will apply after exit day (11 pm on 31 January 2020), as before exit day, until the implementation period completion date. For more on this, see Practice Note: Brexit legislation tracker—Brexit SIs—commencement.

From the point of its exit from the EU, the UK's relationship with the EU will be governed by the Withdrawal Agreement, an international treaty negotiated by the UK and the EU during the withdrawal period, which is intended to:

  1. tie up the administrative and financial loose ends associated with the UK's membership of the EU

  2. protect the rights of UK and EU citizens living in each other's territory, and

  3. provide a stand-still period in relation to the application of EU law in order to allow for the negotiation of a trade deal between the EU and the UK (as a non-Member State)

For more on Brexit and the withdrawal process, see:

  1. Brexit—overview

  2. Brexit timeline

  3. Brexit legislation tracker

  4. Brexit—introduction