Regulatory and administrative gaps in a no-deal scenario

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    Defra is the second most affected UK department by the European Union Withdrawal Act (EUWA), which will copy across among others existing EU environmental laws. More precisely, the Act impacts 80% of Defra’s work. The legislative work lying ahead is significant: Defra needs to present 95 statutory instruments to implement the EUWA and two additional new bills on agriculture and fisheries to replace the EU Common Agricultural Policy. In case of a no-deal scenario and in order to avoid a regulatory gap, all of this will need to be complete before 29 March.

    Local government, already diminished in size and financially constrained by previous cuts, has not received any additional funding for Brexit preparedness. Furthermore, around 400 staff from local agencies were redeployed centrally to work on Brexit. As EU environmental laws are being copied across to the UK legislative systems, gaps in human and budgetary resources risk hindering their enforcement in the UK. 

    Environmental Politics article on EU environmental policy and Brexit
    Cuts in agencies staff

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