Brexit Update

Photograph by Chris Maguire

Photograph by Chris Maguire

The UK’s exit from the European Union is a pivotal moment for wildlife in Wales. Today, most of the laws and policy covering our wildlife and wild places, and the wider health of our environment, have their roots in EU law. That is why it is crucial that as the politics of Brexit gather speed, the future of our environment is not lost in the debate – and you can help!  
 
The Bill to trigger Article 50  has recently passed a key stage in the House of Commons and a White Paper on the UK Government’s approach to negotiations has been released.  The White Paper includes a welcome commitment to bring current EU environmental protections into UK law through the promised ‘Great Repeal Bill’.  But the devil will be in the detail, so we will be keeping up the pressure as the Prime Minister firms up her negotiating strategy, to ensure our departure from the EU does not have a disproportionate impact on precious laws that protect our wildlife and wild places. 
 
We have written to all the MPs in our area to encourage them to include the future of our environment in the Brexit debate, and ensure that the benefits of existing laws and principles – such as those that protect our special wildlife and wild places – are secured through the Repeal Bill, as the UK leaves the EU.  We often get a positive response to our letters to MPs, but as a constituent that cares deeply about wildlife, you can help amplify this work.  Please write to or email your MP (you will need to include your address to prove that you are a local constituent) to ask them what they will do to ensure that our departure from the EU leads to a brighter future for our natural environment – and so the people of Wales.  Please tell them what wildlife and wild places mean to you and ask them to support your request for their continued strong protection.  We know that our collective voice will be stronger, and our impact greater, if you can help us reach as many MPs as possible.  
You can find the contact details of your MP here: http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/
Or use a more generic online contact form here: https://www.writetothem.com/?gclid=CNOY1PLD8dECFaWw7QodYVAMIg
 
You may also be interested in the publication of the Environmental Audit Committee report from its inquiry The Future of Natural Environment After EU Referendum.  The report advises the UK Government not to weaken environmental protections during the process of leaving the EU or afterwards.  It also calls for a new Environmental Protection Act during Article 50 negotiations to maintain the UK's strong environmental standards.  The Wildlife Trusts have put together a response that can be read here.  The Wildlife Trusts have also been working with a coalition of environmental organisations through Greener UK, which has recently launched a manifesto and a number of key policy documents targeting the UK Government, which you can see here.