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The Implications of Brexit for Future EU Environmental Law and Policy

Céline Charveriat and Andrew Farmer

elni Review 2017, Issue 1, pp. 11-16.

Brexit is an unprecedented event for the EU. No Member State has ever left the Union previously. At most, overseas territories with small populations have changed status, such as Greenland (Denmark) in 1985 and the Outermost Region Saint Barthélemy (France), which became an Overseas Country and Territory (OCT) in 2012. These cases may have limited lessons for the UK adapting its legislation post-Brexit, as they did not impact EU decision making and law and, therefore, are not precedents for the subject of this paper.
There has been quite a lot of analysis on the possible consequences of Brexit for the future of UK environmental law. However, less attention has been given to the implications Brexit may have for the future of EU environmental law and policy. This paper presents some thoughts on this subject. It begins with a consideration of the impact of Brexit on the general political and economic atmosphere of EU environmental policy making. The paper then considers the issues of trade and the external border. Some specific policy areas are examined, including chemicals, climate policy and agriculture. The paper ends by considering the implications of a possible future dispute mechanism with the UK.

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