Cookie Policy

We use cookies to make our website effective and useful for you. To continue, please accept the use of cookies.

I accept

How we use cookies

Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo

NI Environment & No Deal Brexit 15 April 2019

Northern Ireland’s Environment in No Deal Brexit Scenario




Since the EU Referendum result, NIEL has been liaising with DAERA officials in relation to the potential impacts of Brexit on our local environment. The primary form of this interaction has been through our ongoing participation in the various DAERA Brexit Stakeholder forums including those set up to consider: Fisheries & Marine, Rural Society; Environmental; and Trade & Agricultural issues.

Should the UK depart the EU in a No Deal scenario, we have raised a number of issues that need to be considered by DAERA in its No Deal Contingency planning work. These include: the potential widening of the environmental governance gap between NI and GB; the loss of access to the European Commission & the European Court of Justice who have underpinned environmental protection in the UK as they will no longer have jurisdiction in NI; possible delays in the passing of goods across Borders creating a ‘pile up’ of agricultural produce leading to serious environmental challenges in terms of disposing of surplus milk, offal and other produce; differences in cross–border regulatory regimes creating opportunities for criminal activity, including the movement and dumping of waste, with inevitable environmental consequences.

We are also concerned that problems in the agricultural supply chain could lead to the non–movement of animals and agricultural produce from farms, which in turn could result in the illegal environmental dumping of farm produce and animal waste as well as increased stocking densities, causing environmental damage to both designated and non–designated sites in terms of overgrazing or poaching of land etc.

Finally, we are calling for clear prioritisation of the environmental risks and how they will be dealt with, including those that will arise in the days and weeks after Day One. Not least should we leave the EU with ‘no deal’, we would be without a framework for environmental co–operation with our near neighbours thereby reducing our ability to work together on transboundary environmental issues which would be particularly problematic on the island of Ireland.

Meanwhile our Brexit work continues through our Sustainable Land Use, Marine & Fisheries, Nature & Environmental Protection and Cross–border Working groups.

If you would like to participate in any of these groups contact:

Visit our Nature Matters NI page for more information.