Image – Michel Barnier (EU Council Eurozone, flickr)
The EU wants the UK to provide a legal assurance that it will not dilute environmental legislation after Brexit.
Its chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said the future relationship between the bloc and the UK should ‘commit to no lowering of the standards of environmental protection’.
He added that the final agreement could include a non-regression clause, to ‘prevent any reduction of the key pre-Brexit standards’.
‘If we make sure our partnership is based on a level playing field … then we should have strongly mitigated the threat of Brexit to EU environmental policy,’ he said. ‘There will be no ambitions partnership without guarantees on fair competition, social standards, tax dumping and not least environmental standards.’
The UK government recently released its 25-year environment plan, to promote green policies, while the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, has spoken of his desire to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics. Indeed, in late March it was revealed that the government is consulting on the possibility of introducing a deposit return scheme for bottles and cans in England.