Rural group calls for EU environment law to be copied post-Brexit

Scottish landowners and rural businesses have called for environmental principles to be maintained following Brexit
Scottish landowners and rural businesses have called for environmental principles to be maintained following Brexit

Current European Union environmental principles should be formally translated into domestic law after Brexit, Scottish landowners say.

It comes in response to a Scottish government consultation on environmental principles post-Brexit, which closed on Saturday 11 May.

It sought views on maintaining the role of environmental principles in developing future Scottish environmental policy and legislation.

Responding to the consultation, rural business organisation Scottish Land & Estates (SLE) said adopting the principles would ensure Scotland 'kept pace' with international best practice.



The group said it is important that Scotland does not start to 'slip behind international standards' post-Brexit.

Around 80% of domestic environmental law in Scotland is derived from EU law and policy.



Karen Ramoo, Policy Adviser at SLE, said: “Land-based businesses have been playing a huge role in efforts to meet current environmental targets and this progress should be maintained.

“The EU has four enshrined principles which underpin policy development and we agree with the Scottish government that we should adopt these principles domestically.

“This will mean that any future Scottish legislation has to adhere to those standards moving forward.”

Ms Ramoo added: “We also need to ensure that monitoring, reviewing and reporting functions to serve environmental law are not lost.

“These tasks are currently undertaken at an EU level and consideration needs to be given to establishing a domestic governance mechanism and what funding will be available to support that,” she said.

When governments fail to meet their environmental obligations currently, this can be dealt with through the Commission, European Court of Justice and other EU bodies.

The SLE said it is likely that a new body will be required to fulfil this role that is independent of government, has relevant expertise and enjoys sufficient legal powers to enforce the law and hold government to account.