In an official report about the impact of Brexit on London, the Mayor calls on ministers to “guarantee” that environmental regulations, monitoring and enforcement standards will be strengthened in the aftermath of Brexit, rather than weakened.
The Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Andrea Leadsom MP, recently told Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee that only two-thirds of EU environmental regulations would be directly brought into British law.
Khan – “The Government should legislate for a new Environment Act to ensure that the UK has an equivalent or better level of protection than in the EU, enshrining key environmental safeguarding principles…”
Furthermore, there are serious challenges to recreating monitoring and enforcement schemes that are currently run by the EU – and have no equivalent in British law, Khan says.
The Mayor, in London’s official response to the government’s Brexit White Paper, is calling on the government to introduce a new Environment Act, to guarantee that environmental regulations and enforcements are at least equivalent, if not better, than the current EU standards.
This would include enshrining key EU safeguarding principles in British law, including the ‘polluter pays’ concept, ‘environmental rights for citizens’ and the ‘precautionary principle’ – so lack of knowledge is not used as an excuse for poor decisions.
He is also asking for a guarantee that recently announced EU policy – which has yet to be enshrined in UK law – including the recent Winter Package on energy efficiency and renewable energy, will be transposed into British law as part of the Great Repeal Bill.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “Our relationship with the EU has been particularly important for London’s environment. Our homes, vehicles and appliances are more energy-efficient, our water is cleaner and better protected, harmful emissions are on a long term decline and we produce less waste. This has all been helped by environmental protections and targets driven by EU directives, regulations and standards.
“The Government should legislate for a new Environment Act to ensure that the UK has an equivalent or better level of protection than in the EU, enshrining key environmental safeguarding principles such as polluter pays, environmental rights for citizens and the precautionary principle. It should also ensure that the necessary powers and resources are devolved to the authorities best placed to tackle their environmental issues and targets.
“I have made it clear that air quality is a key priority for my administration and Londoners need complete assurance of no reduction in regulatory standards and protections in this or other environmental areas. They must be strengthened rather than weakened.”