8 Sep 2016

Fisheries policy after Brexit

On Wednesday 7 September eight witnesses, including Dr Bryce Stewart (author of the Fisheries chapter in our expert review) gave evidence to the House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee on Fisheries Policy after Brexit.

You can watch the video of the evidence session here.

12 Aug 2016

What does Brexit mean for impact assessment?

Alan Bond, Monica Fundingsland and Stephen Tromans have just published an article in the journal Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal which looks at the implications of Brexit on the future practice of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in the UK.

Brexit has led to considerable uncertainty over the future practice of EIA and SEA. These are assessment processes applied where proposed projects (for EIA) or plans and programmes (for SEA) are considered to have potentially significant effects on the environment. The idea is that decision makers should know the full consequences of their actions prior to making a decision, so that socio-economic benefits are considered in the context of environmental harms. 

EIA and SEA are legally required in the UK because of EU Directives but the processes are often seen as a hindrance and an unwelcome cost on developers , and the Brexit vote raises the possibility that legal obligations could be removed where these Directives no longer place obligations on the government. Thus Brexit matters in terms of the consideration of environmental evidence in decision making.

11 Aug 2016

Zombie-like or servile? The worst-case scenarios for Brexit.

In a blog post for IEMA's The Environmentalist Magazine, Andy Jordan, Charlotte Burns and Viviane Gravey argue the environmental sector needs not only to campaign for a green Brexit but also to consider and plan for the worst-case Brexit scenarios for the environment.

10 Aug 2016

Environmental policy after Brexit: mind the governance gap

In a blog post for the UK in a Changing Europe initiative, Viviane Gravey, Andy Jordan and Charlie Burns argue the future of the UK environment after Brexit is as much a question of future governance arrangement as it is about future policies. Both governance and policy issues are further discussed in the latest EUrefEnv review on Hard and Soft Brexit.

5 Aug 2016

The Future Under a 'Hard' and a 'Soft' Brexit

'Brexit means Brexit’: but what does Brexit mean for the environment? In the new EUrefEnv study, Dr Charlotte Burns (University of York), Prof Andrew Jordan and Dr Viviane Gravey (University of East Anglia) explore what Brexit may mean for UK environmental policies and governance processes by comparing two scenarios: a ‘soft’ and a ‘hard’ Brexit. A ‘soft’ Brexit would see the UK remain as close as possible to the EU, establishing a new relationship akin to Norway’s relationship with the EU. Conversely a ‘hard’ Brexit would see the UK trade with the EU under World Trade Organisation rules. Both will generate radically different impacts on policies, systems of governance and levels of environmental quality in the UK – key issues that should inform forthcoming negotiations to effect Brexit. The study concludes with suggestions for future research and policy.

Watch Dr Viviane Gravey's introduction to the study:

29 Jul 2016

What a difference a vote makes? Second guessing British-EU environmental policy interactions after Brexit.

Brendan Flynn is a lecturer within the School of Political Science & Sociology, NUIG. His research focuses on Irish and UK environmental policies. 

Since Britain voted to leave the EU are we any wiser what it all means? Uncertainty seems the safest prediction for now. Yet given that Britain has played an important role in EU environmental policy, we need to try to make some sense of it.

Towards a more German style EU environmental policy?

In the 1980s, Britain preferred generalist environmental quality standards, whereas the Germans wanted strict emission limits and targets. EU environmental policy now has both! Yet without British experts at the table, across all the EU institutions, future EU environmental policy will unquestionably change in tone and quality. Perhaps it will become more comprehensively German?
Would that be a bad thing given that Britain has played an almost laggardly role in some recent EU environmental negotiations (notably the new Renewables Directive)? However, the hope that Brexit might actually be a boon for more ambitious EU environmental policy making is na├»ve. There are plenty of other states, such as Poland, willing to dilute Brussel’s green credentials. In fact, the absence of Britain will more likely weaken green agendas in policy sectors such as agriculture and fisheries, two areas where the British have long demanded ‘greening’. 

26 Jul 2016

The potential implications of Brexit on environmental policy: House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee

On Wednesday 21 July, three witnesses, including Prof Andy Jordan and Dr Charlotte Burns (two of the leading authors of our expert review) gave evidence to the House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee on the potential implications of Brexit on environmental policy.

A full transcript of their discussion can be read here.

A full video of the 1h30 long session is available here.