Greener UK
News and comment

News and comment

16 November, 2017

This parliamentary debate was a significant moment for the UK’s environment

Ruth Chambers, senior parliamentary affairs associate, Greener UK Unit of Green Alliance, writes for Inside Track

It’s so often the case that environmental issues are overlooked in parliament, squeezed in time and overshadowed by other priorities. But last night saw something rather special: three hours of uninterrupted parliamentary debate on the environment in which politicians from all parties were competing to speak and make and seek commitments about future environmental protection.

16 November, 2017

Green Brexit push set to continue despite amendments defeat

Business Green

Government wins Commons votes on environmental amendments, but vigorous debate and promise of further scrutiny means no let-up in calls for stronger 'green Brexit' protections.

13 November, 2017

‘Green Brexit’ will safeguard environment

The Times

Michael Gove sought to further burnish his environmental credentials yesterday by announcing plans for a “green Brexit” with higher protection standards than those within the EU.

11 November, 2017

GREXIT: Michael Gove reveals green Brexit plans including creation of environment watchdog after split from EU

The Scottish Sun

The Environment Secretary laid out plans amid fears existing laws will be watered down once Britain leaves the EU

7 November, 2017

MPs’ scrutiny of the Withdrawal Bill is crunch time for the environment

Ruth Chambers, senior parliamentary affairs associate, Greener UK Unit of Green Alliance, writes for Inside Track

As Greener UK has already highlighted, the EU (Withdrawal) Bill is crucial in ensuring the protection of the UK’s environment. So we will be on high alert when MPs begin their detailed scrutiny of the bill in a little over a week.

3 November, 2017

UK to establish new regulator to address gap in post-Brexit green governance

Climate Action Programme

Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Environment has revealed that the UK government is considering establishing a new regulator to make sure that the country’s environmental standards are still in place after the UK leaves the European Union.

31 October, 2017

Tony Juniper takes on lead advocacy role at WWF

WWF has announced that prominent conservationist Tony Juniper has joined the green organisation as executive director for advocacy and campaigns.

18 October, 2017

Gove to consult on Brexit changes to environmental law

ENDS Report

A consultation group is to be created by DEFRA to enable organisations and businesses to engage with amendments needed to transfer EU legislation onto the UK’s statute books.

17 October, 2017

What will happen to UK chemicals policy post-Brexit?

Nigel Haigh, honorary fellow and former director of IEEP, writes for Inside Track

As a way of understanding the challenges Brexit poses in the area of chemicals, here I look at the origins of chemicals policy, its place in environmental policy and also its peculiarities.

17 October, 2017

UK withdrawal bill 'rips the heart out of environmental law', say campaigners

The Guardian

New bill omits key ‘precautionary’ principle requiring developers and industry to prove actions will not harm wildlife or habitats as well as ‘polluter pays’ protections.

6 October, 2017

Brexit: time to get serious

Shaun Spiers, executive director of Green Alliance and chair of the Greener UK coalition, writes for Inside Track

One of Mrs Thatcher’s governments’ most enduring achievements was the European single market, steered into existence by the Conservative European Commissioner, Lord Cockfield. In his memoirs, Cockfield recalled the time he had to tell the prime minister that introducing the single market would entail a degree of tax harmonisation to prevent trade barriers.

29 September, 2017

Green NGOs raise 'red flag' over escalating Brexit risks

Business Green

Greener UK coalition warns government is not making sufficient progress in ensuring the environment is safeguarded post-Brexit. A coalition of 13 environmental NGOs will today warn concerns are escalating over the government's ability to deliver its promise of a "green Brexit".

13 September, 2017

Who’s afraid of the ECJ? Let’s debate environmental governance

Prof Andrew Jordan and Dr Viviane Gravey, co-chairs of the Brexit and Environment network of academic experts, write for Inside Track

Michael Gove has suggested debating how the UK can “design potentially more effective, more rigorous and more responsive institutions, new means of holding individuals and organisations to account for environmental outcomes”. This creates a welcome opportunity to discuss what kind of governance system the UK should have outside the EU.

22 August, 2017

Concerns raised about how environmental laws will be enforced after Brexit

Greener UK news release

However the EU and UK decide that cross-border disputes will be settled in future, it's essential that everyone can access the legal system, and that courts are able to apply justice – fairly and impartially. Read the briefing.

13 August, 2017

A green Brexit is possible, says Stuart Winter

Daily Express

The EU’s powerful environmental directives that had protected our birds and beasts, landscapes and shining seas for decades looked ready to be set ablaze on bonfires to mark our liberation from Brussels’ bureaucratic yoke.

3 August, 2017

Why the UK should stick with the EU’s world leading chemical protections

Andrea Speranza, Brexit campaigner at CHEM Trust, writes for Inside Track

Like everyone, I receive a lot of receipts each week. I drop them dismissively into my bag. When I tidy up at the start of the week, I notice how many there are and, until recently, the only risk I saw was financial.

3 August, 2017

Ministers must support farmers to save wildlife from 'damaging uncertainty'

The Guardian

British farmers are returning to intensive measures that deplete wildlife and damage the environment as a vacuum in government policy leaves them facing an uncertain future after the Brexit vote.

13 July, 2017

Will Brexit break down or expand the new approaches that have been improving our rivers?

Richard Benwell, head of government affairs, writes for Inside Track

Every stretch of river has its own character. Each has its own charms and needs. It’s this diversity that can help to inspire communities to love and protect their rivers and it’s the reason why every portion of every river needs to be given its own care.

13 July, 2017

EU Withdrawal Bill faces rough ride in parliament

The ENDS Report

The government’s attempt to lend itself far-reaching powers to adapt and transfer EU law into the UK canon, with minimal scrutiny, is set to encounter stiff resistance in parliament and from environmental groups.

13 July, 2017

Will the Withdrawal Bill work for the environment?

Paul McNamee, head of politics at Green Alliance, writes for Inside Track

Though the triggering of Article 50 occurred just over 100 days ago, it has felt like the Great Repeal Bill has been coming for a lot longer. And this is the first big change we will have to make: the Great Repeal Bill is no more.

12 July, 2017

Green groups call for overhaul of repeal bill to safeguard environment after Brexit

The Guardian

Environmental campaigners with 8 million members between them are putting forward key amendments to the repeal bill to be published on Thursday to tackle the threat of Brexit leaving huge gaps in environmental protection in the UK.

7 July, 2017

Green groups and MPs launch push to strengthen post-Brexit environmental protection

Business Green

Cross-party group of MPs warn current plan to enforce environmental rules through Judicial Reviews is inadequate.

7 July, 2017

Green groups and MPs work together on Repeal Bill amendment to ensure adequate implementation of environmental law

Greener UK news release

As discussed on Radio 4’s Today Programme, the Greener UK coalition have begun working with a cross-party group of MPs to ensure the Repeal Bill does not dilute the force of law which has cleaned up UK beaches and is tackling the air quality crisis in urban areas.

28 June, 2017

Greener UK is tracking Brexit risks so you don’t have to

Gemma Wells, Brexit project officer at RSPB, writes for Inside Track

It’s been a tumultuous time in UK politics since we voted to leave the EU a year ago. The overriding mood of the year has been uncertainty which has permeated all sectors, not least the environmental sector.

25 June, 2017

Michael Gove could use Brexit to shelve key plan to protect the environment, critics fear

The Independent

Green campaigners and political rivals have raised concerns that Michael Gove's return to the cabinet has led to a key environmental plan being shelved.

23 June, 2017

Chemical industry: ‘greater consensus needed’ as Brexit talks begin

Chemical Watch

The UK’s chemical industry has called for broad agreement on Brexit priorities as formal talks between EU and UK negotiators got underway in Brussels this week.

23 June, 2017

Brexit anniversary brings Greener UK warnings of holes in waste governance


Fears about the future of UK environmental regulation and the legal oversight and case law on resources persist on the anniversary of the referendum that kicked off Brexit.

23 June, 2017

Ongoing uncertainty around UK environmental protection, concludes first assessment of Brexit environment impact

Greener UK press release

On the anniversary of the EU referendum, Greener UK, a coalition of 13 major environmental organisations, publishes the first assessment under its comprehensive Brexit Risk Tracker, which will be regularly updated to reflect the risks to environmental policy throughout the Brexit process.

19 June, 2017

Environmental coalition issues warning over Great Repeal Bill as Brexit negotiations begin

Clean Energy News

Environmental coalition Greener UK has stressed the need for any future repeal bill to ensure existing environmental laws remain in place.

19 June, 2017

Three key environmental tests for the Queen’s speech

Greener UK statement

​The Great Repeal Bill is expected to be a major focus of the upcoming Queen’s speech. The Greener UK coalition[1] has set out three key tests for the bill to meet, to ensure it secures the benefits of existing environmental laws as the UK leaves the EU.

5 June, 2017

Minister questioned on Conservative commitment to environmental protection

The Water Report

Two post Brexit issues dominated a hustings last week convened by Greener UK to scrutinise the environmental plans of the major parties ahead of this week’s election: environmental protections and agricultural subsidies.

1 June, 2017

Lobbying Act 'stifling environment debate' in election campaign

The Guardian

Debate on environmental issues has been stifled in the run-up to the general election, leaving voters in the dark, opposition parties have claimed at the Greener UK Hustings, as a result of the Lobbying Act and government determination to avoid criticism over problems such as air pollution.

31 May, 2017

Greener UK debate: Parties trade blows over environmental ambitions ahead of election

The lively debate hosted by the Greener UK coalition brought together Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem and Green Party spokespeople at what will be the the only election hustings focused on the environment ahead of the election on 8 June.

30 May, 2017

Greener UK hustings


On 30 May 2017, Greener UK held a Hustings which offered the public and environmental organisations with an opportunity to hear and question the major parties' plans for the environment ahead of the general election.

29 March, 2017

Article 50 triggered as calls grow for a green Brexit

Business Green

Green groups call for strong safeguards to uphold environmental standards during Brexit process, as fears mount over renewed conservative efforts to cut red tape. The UK has today taken the historic step of triggering Article 50, embarking on the two year journey to exit the European Union.

27 March, 2017

Five very real risks to our environment from Brexit and how to tackle them

Leah Davis, acting director at Green Alliance, writes for Inside Track

There has been little mention of the environment in the government’s Brexit priorities so far, so it may come as a surprise to hear that an estimated four fifths of all our environmental protections are covered by EU law.

22 February, 2017

Greener UK parliamentary reception


On 22 February 2017, Greener UK held a parliamentary reception attended by 125 people, including MPs, peers, senior environmental representatives, civil servants and businesses to discuss the critical environmental protections and policies affected by the UK exiting the EU.

22 February, 2017

Theresa May must not sacrifice environmental laws after Brexit, warn leading climate groups

The Independent

Theresa May must not allow Britain’s environmental laws to be undermined during Brexit negotiations, a coalition of leading UK and international campaign groups, including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, WWF and the National Trust, has said.

22 February, 2017

The Great EU Repeal Bill: Green groups urge strong environmental law post-Brexit

Business Green

The government insists it is on track to trigger Article 50 by the end of next month and officially begin leaving the European Union, yet still a huge number of questions remain unanswered over the terms.

22 February, 2017

Greener UK coalition launches manifesto urging UK government to use Brexit to restore and enhance the environment

Greener UK press release

The Greener UK coalition of 13 major environmental organisations, including WWF, the National Trust, RSPB and The Wildlife Trusts, has today launched its manifesto calling on the UK government to restore and enhance the environment as part of its plans for leaving the European Union.