National Marine Plan - EU exit: interpretive guidance

Guidance on how to interpret the National Marine Plan after the UK exits from the European Union. This guidance applies from 1 January 2021 and should be used to interpret references to the European Union in the National Marine Plan.

2. References to EU Directives

2.1. The National Marine Plan contains references to various EU Directives, including the Marine Spatial Planning Directive,[7] the Water Framework Directive,[8] the Marine Strategy Framework Directive,[9] the Habitats Directive,[10] the Wild Birds Directive,[11] the Bathing Water Directive,[12] the Environmental Noise Directive,[13] the Offshore Safety Directive,[14] the Carbon Capture and Storage Directive[15] and the Shellfish Directive.[16]

2.2. Subject to the following exceptions, a reference to a Directive,[17] or provisions of that Directive, should be read as reference to the legislation which gave effect to the requirements of that Directive (or the provision of that Directive) in the UK, as amended.

2.2.1. Reference to "priority habitats and species" in section 4.44 of the Plan should be read as reference to those habitats or species as listed in Annex I of the Habitats Directive[18] as it was when we left the EU, or in accordance with provision made regarding how that Annex is to be read in legislation applicable in Scotland (including to Scottish offshore waters) at any time after exit day.

2.2.2. In accordance with the Marine Strategy Regulations 2010, references to descriptors of Good Environmental Status[19] should be read as references to those descriptors as they were listed in Annex 1 of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive[20] at EU exit day, with the exception of the reference to "Community legislation" in descriptor 9, which should be read as if it were reference to relevant legislation applicable in the UK.

2.2.3. For the avoidance of doubt, the term "European Protected Species" is being retained, and the protections afforded to these species are retained under relevant national legislation.

2.3. There are references within the National Marine Plan to legislation that gave effect to the requirements of EU Directives in all or part of the UK (for example, reference to the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994). Such references are to the legislation as amended. It should be noted that the legislation may have been amended as a consequence of EU exit.[21]

2.4. The reference to "EU environmental legislation" in section 6.4 of the Plan should be read as "UK environmental legislation".



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