The UK’s exit from the European Union and the accompanying governance changes have brought about a need to track the development of environmental law and policy in the four nations of the UK and between the UK and EU, to identify divergence and assess its implications and significance. The way in which environmental legislation is developed, agreed and then implemented in the UK has changed fundamentally. Extensive autonomy for the four nations, not least in the environmental field could lead to greater diversity and less predictability, with varying levels of alignment or divergence in a more complex set of measures and relationships. Some nations of the UK may choose not to keep up with developments in legislation previously derived from the EU and some divergence may occur simply through ‘regulatory drift’, with decisions not being taken.
A range of governmental, parliamentary, civil society, academic and private sector organisations have an interest in divergence and are considering how best to follow, digest and respond to the growing pace of divergence, both in specific fields and at a more generic level. This event is part of an IEEP project, funded by the John Ellerman Foundation, which aims to contribute to knowledge, engagement and exchange on divergence in the environmental field, particularly in respect of EU/UK differences but also taking account of the changing dynamics of intra-UK policy and legislation on the environment.
While it is clear that divergence is occurring already in a variety of forms it is not assumed that the consequences will necessarily be either harmful or helpful to achieving environmental progress.
This event is intended for civil society, academia, government, the media and others with knowledge of, and an interest in environmental policy, UK / EU relations post Brexit and political relations between the four nations of the UK. We would welcome your participation and insights.