Brexit: EU to seek environmental non-regression clause

© European Union 2018, EC
- Audiovisual Service, Lukasz Kobus
11.04.2018 − 

In its future relationship with the UK, the European Union should commit to "no lowering of the standards of environmental protection", according to EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier. Speaking at a conference organised by the Green 10 in the European Parliament on Tuesday, he called for the agreement on the future relationship between the EU and the UK to include a non-regression clause in order to maintain a level playing field. “This can be inspired by the CETA or Japan free-trade agreement provisions, but this will need to go further. It should prevent any reduction of the key pre-Brexit standards,” he said. He also underlined the need for "effective oversight and enforcement of environmental rules" for a strong level playing field.

Mr Barnier welcomed UK prime minister Theresa May’s statement that the UK would not engage in a “race to the bottom” in the standards and protections it sets during her Mansion House speech at the start of March. He also welcomed the UK’s proposed 25 year plan on the environment, but underlined that his responsibility as the EU negotiator is to remain extremely vigilant. “There will be no ambitious partnership without common ground on fair competition, state aid, guarantees against tax dumping and social standards, and, not least, environmental standards,” Mr Barnier said.

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