Press release: 19 December 2019

Withdrawal Agreement Bill could put people’s health at risk – ClientEarth lawyer

The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill, which will see its second reading in the House of Commons tomorrow, has the potential to allow government to undo current EU and UK case law on air quality, putting people’s health at risk.

A section in the Bill would leave the door open to ministers to pass regulations which would provide that any court or tribunal is not bound by existing EU case law or domestic case law relating to it.

ClientEarth lawyer Katie Nield said: “This Bill could result in people’s right to breathe clean air being cast aside, jeopardising their ability to hold the UK government to account over illegal levels of air pollution. At a time when doctors are warning that air pollution is contributing to the NHS winter crisis it is inconceivable that Boris Johnson is paving the way to wriggle out of his legal duties to protect people’s health.”

About ClientEarth

ClientEarth is a charity that uses the power of the law to protect people and the planet. We are international lawyers finding practical solutions for the world’s biggest environmental challenges. We are fighting climate change, protecting oceans and wildlife, making forest governance stronger, greening energy, making business more responsible and pushing for government transparency. We believe the law is a tool for positive change. From our offices in London, Brussels, Warsaw, Berlin and Beijing, we work on laws throughout their lifetime, from the earliest stages to implementation. And when those laws are broken, we go to court to enforce them.