IEMA is engaging with members on the implications of Brexit.

Through webinars and workshops, IEMA will gather views to help shape the future the profession wants.

Early discussions have focused on:

  • The key principles required to frame the best outcome from an environment and sustainability perspective.
  • How these principles can best be safeguarded?
  • What key policies and regulations to retain, amend or remove.
  • How to use Brexit to support the transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient and sustainable economy?

Initial feedback includes the importance of maintaining the precautionary principle and the polluter-pays principle, which are both enshrined in EU law. Many members also favour establishing a principle of no diminution of the environmental outcomes or protections that are now safeguarded – although there is recognition this could be achieved through other means.

The government has indicated that it intends to replace the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights. In considering how best to enshrine key environmental principles into UK law, one option that has been discussed is to include rights to clean air and water, for example, in this.

Although negotiations over the UK’s exit from the EU are likely to take some time, opportunities to set out a longer-term direction in terms of environmental outcomes are likely to present themselves much sooner. How the UK will meet the fifth carbon budget, the 25-year environment plan for England, and the UK’s industrial strategy are opportunities to articulate a positive vision. IEMA will engage with members to develop the profession’s view, not least because it will be the touchstone against which the policy and regulatory framework for leaving the EU needs to deliver.