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Brexit Nature Coalition

Environment Links UK has recently established the Brexit Nature Coalition comprising representatives from Link organisations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, for the purpose of identifying the implications of Brexit on the environment across all four countries of the UK.

Working closely with the Link Legal Stratgy Group, the Group will undertake policy, advocacy and campaigns work in relation to areas where common ground has been identified and will maintain a close dialogue with coalitions such as Greener-UK so as to mutually inform actions.

Chair: Kate Jennings, RSPB
Brexit Policy and Campaigns Officer: Will Tricker, Link

Updates from the Group

The Environment Links UK Brexit Nature Coalition comprises legal and policy experts from across the four UK Link organisations -Scottish Environment Link, Wales Environment Link, Northern Ireland Environment Link and Wildlife and Countryside Link. The group aims to ensure that the UK Government brings all EU environmental legislation into domestic law in each of the UK countries and addresses any shortcomings in environmental, wildlife and animal welfare law.

The group is therefore developing and coordinating shared policy, advocacy and campaigns work on Brexit issues, with a focus on protecting the natural environment across the UK countries as we move through the Brexit process. The group recently submitted a response as part of Environment Links UK to the Government’s White Paper ‘Legislating for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union’.

Current work includes:
• working with Link’s Legal Strategy Group and our sister Links in the devolved countries - Environment Links UK - to respond to the Repeal Bill
• mapping the implications of Brexit on the environment across the four devolved countries
• developing ideas and options for 'rebuilding' EU protections that may be lost as a result of the Repeal (now Withdrawal) Bill
• exploring effective policies to protect and enhance the natural environment, including through new legislation
• taking a strategic overview of relevant areas of work, with a UK focus, that are not being addressed in other Link groups

The Group is working with Greener UK on this important area of work.

The Group also addresses specific issues relating to the Habitats and Birds Directives, which has been the focus of a major Environment Links UK campaign.

In December 2016, the European Commission concluded in a report that the Directives are fit for purpose, and should not be revised or weakened. This represented a huge success for the many NGOs that had campaigned for this outcome. However, the Commission also concluded that improvements needed to be made to the implementation of the Directives, and their coherence with broader socio-economic objectives.

Environment Links UK therefore wrote to the Commissioner, Frans Timmermans, in February 2017, who, in response, warmly welcomed our offer to provide expertise, knowledge and time in delivering the Commission’s newly adopted Action Plan for nature, people and the economy. The Action Plan, introduced in June 2017, is aimed at improving implementation of the nature directives and boost their contribution towards reaching the EU's biodiversity targets for 2020.

For further information, contact Will Tricker, Brexit Policy and Campaigns Officer.

Last updated: 01 August 2017