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NI complication for watchdog 15 March 2019

Belfast’s bid to join UK environment law raises post–Brexit border issues
(via Climate Home News)


By Sara Stefanini

Northern Ireland wants to be part of London’s new post–Brexit environment law – raising new complications in regulating border–defying pollutants across a land border with the EU. 

UK environment policy is devolved to the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish governments. The UK government’s draft Environment Bill is therefore limited to England – and risks leading to diverging rules and regulatory gaps once Britain leaves the European Union.

To avoid protection gaps, Northern Ireland has asked to be part of the bill, and is now talking to the UK government about how to apply it, according to a letter published by the House of Commons’ Environmental Audit Committee on Friday.

The decision was based on concerns that Northern Ireland’s environmental protections would otherwise be weakened after Brexit, Northern Ireland’s permanent secretary for the environment Denis McMahon wrote. It would not be possible for Northern Ireland to fill those regulatory gaps with its own legislation because it has not had a sitting assembly since 2017, he added.

Read more via Climate Home News…