Brexit vote pledge heightens concern for UK environment laws

Serious fears for the UK’s environment laws post-Brexit are mounting, following comments made today by the Brexit Secretary, David Davis.

In a speech yesterday, the Prime Minister announced that there would be a vote in both Houses of Parliament on the final Brexit deal.

However, today Mr Davis has said MPs won’t be able to prevent Britain leaving the EU. He said that Brexit will go ahead regardless.

The prospect of the UK Government ignoring parliamentary votes has heightened fears that laws protecting the natural environment may also be ignored.

James Thornton, CEO of ClientEarth said:

“If this is how the government treats parliamentary sovereignty, by brushing it aside, then what hope can we have for environmental laws that the government doesn’t care for, once we leave the EU. It shows a scandalous disregard for parliament.

“We need a guarantee from Theresa May that all current and future environment protections are enshrined in full Acts of Parliament, and that they can only be changed in future with full parliamentary rigour and votes of approval in both houses. That’s how parliament, as the lawmaker, is meant to work. That’s how the environment must be protected in a post-Brexit world.”

ClientEarth has won two legal cases against the UK government on air pollution, over its failure to comply with EU law.

If Britain is to take back control of its laws, we need to see strong environment protections, to safeguard public health and the UK’s wildlife and nature.

ClientEarth, together with the Greener UK coalition of environmental organisations, will be pressing for clarity on nature protections post-Brexit.

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Steven Johnson

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