Environmental governance in Scotland after Brexit: report

A study on the possible issues relating to future environmental governance in Scotland on the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

1 Mission and Scope/Remit

1.1 The scope for this Report and the work of the sub-group was set out in terms of reference ( annex 1). It should "consider and provide advice in response to the following questions:

1. What potential gaps may arise, if any, in existing powers to monitor and enforce environmental standards in Scotland, should the UK exit the EU on terms which result in the loss of oversight of the CJEU and the European Commission?

2. Where gaps are identified, what options are there for providing appropriate levels of scrutiny, reporting and accountability in Scotland on environmental matters?

For each option proposed, please identify:

a. The international comparators that have been considered in developing the option;

b. Any adjustments that would be required to the powers and functions of existing bodies to address identified gaps;

c. If any options have been identified that cannot be implemented through changes to the powers and functions of existing bodies and a new body is proposed, please set out clearly its proposed scope and powers; and

d. The way in which arrangements within the option proposed at a Scottish level might relate to the fulfilment of international commitments."

1.2 The group accepted this "brief" whilst acknowledging from the outset its ambitious nature, challenging timetable and serious conditional uncertainties around the EU/ UK/Scotland dimensions of the Brexit negotiation and development process.

1.3 The report which follows is set out in the following sections: the report's remit, method of work and assessment; the main points emerging from a systematic analysis of policy areas, including identification of common issues and exceptions, as well as the most concerning potential losses, gaps or weaknesses post-Brexit; possible solutions and options for consideration; and final recommendations. This report is not the definitive work in this area but aims to offer a brief initial professional assessment by experienced practitioners, subject specialists and lawyers. We hope it is useful in guiding the way forward to stronger future governance.


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