Having analysed the possible outcomes of a 'no deal' Brexit, environmental coalition Greener UK has concluded that leaving without a deal would have terrible consequences for the environment and our countryside.
Individuals, newspapers and groups have played down the dangers of no deal, and instead looked towards its potential opportunities. Greener UK, however, has concluded that a no deal scenario would leave us:
- with no access to an independent body that can uphold and enforce environmental laws
- without a fully-functioning system to monitor and ban dangerous chemicals
- facing spikes in air pollution caused by traffic chaos at ports and borders
- contemplating crises in animal welfare and food safety, with long delays expected at ports and authorities contending with a shortage of vets
It has also become clear that Defra, one of the government departments most heavily affected by Brexit, would find it very difficult to cope with the ramifications of no deal. According to the Institute for Government it has published 29 technical notices on no deal (the joint most of any department), with the NAO raising concerns in September 2018 around its lack of readiness.
The government has long talked of its green ambitions and determination to leave our struggling environment in a better state.
If we want to see our wildlife thriving and our environment healthier after Brexit, any relationship with the EU must be based on mutual co-operation and the highest standards. No deal, with its short term dangers and longer term concerns, carries great risks for the environment.