Scotland did not chose to leave the EU. The scale of impact from an unnecessarily hard Brexit, that was imposed on Scotland, is still becoming clear more than three years later.
The Scottish Government remains determined to protect Scotland from the impacts of EU exit. This includes protecting and enhancing our environmental standards. The measures in the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Act 2021 ('the Continuity Act') make an important contribution to this objective. Environmental Standards Scotland (ESS) was swiftly created following the passing of the Act, initially on a non-statutory basis and then with full statutory status from October 2021. It was vital to avoid a gap in environmental governance, and ESS is carrying out its important independent role, accountable to Parliament.
I am committed to improving environmental justice. It is important that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy a life free from poor environmental quality. It is also important that there are readily available routes for individuals to secure good environmental quality for themselves and their communities. This report outlines a number of ways in which we will be improving access to justice on environmental issues. I will continue to engage with communities and stakeholders and look forward to hearing their views in the consultation on this report.
Màiri McAllan MSP
Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero and Just Transition
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