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29/10/19 10:43

Safeguarding environmental standards

Advisory body plan for ‘no deal’ Brexit.

In the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit an advisory panel will be established to ensure Scotland’s environmental standards aren’t compromised, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham has announced.

Whilst an extension to the Article 50 negotiating period has been secured, in the event that a ‘no deal’ Brexit returns as a possibility at a future date, the advisory panel would replicate as far as possible, the role of the EU Commission in scrutinising environmental compliance by the Scottish Government and other public bodies.

The panel would be chaired by Jim Martin, the current Chair of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, who will help design the approach the panel will take.

Ms Cunningham said:

“We do not want to leave the European Union and I am glad a ‘no deal’ Brexit has been pushed back, but if at any point that does happen, I have been consistently clear that I will not allow it to have any impact on Scotland’s environmental standards.

“The Programme for Government sets out our commitment to put in place interim, non-legislative measures in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit to ensure that current standards do not slip while we develop longer‑term solutions.

“Planning for the establishment of an interim panel, which would also help inform the design of our long-term governance approach, is one of many actions the Scottish Government has been taking to ensure we are prepared for a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

“I will set a detailed remit for the panel and expect it to undertake fact-finding and analysis work on key areas of compliance with environmental law, advise Scottish Ministers and seek changes to rectify any issues.”

Background

 Jim Martin is a former Independent Police Complaints Commissioner and a former Scottish Public Services Ombudsman. He would be joined on the panel by a range of other members with expertise in the law and practice of environmental regulation.  

The majority of respondents to a consultation on Environmental Principles and Governance raised concerns about the impact on environmental standards once the UK leaves the EU.