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The authoritative source for independent research on UK-EU relations

10 Oct 2018

Wales: challenges and opportunities for post Brexit environmental governance

Brexit represents a major change to environmental governance in Wales and the United Kingdom (UK), raising both opportunities and challenges. Welsh stakeholders are worried that English interests will predominate in the design of environmental governance after Brexit and are also concerned about the prospect of greater instability and weaker environmental protections.

Key points outlined in this report include:

  • Environmental policy works best when policy-makers can take account of local conditions and allow local communities to get involved. Cooperation and coordination
    are also required on transboundary problems.
  • There are many incentives for the Welsh Assembly government and the UK government to cooperate on environmental policy in ways that allow Wales to
    develop policies sensitive to local conditions whilst cooperating on areas of shared concern.
  • However, the absence of trust between the Welsh and UK governments may jeopardise the future development of post-Brexit environmental governance structures.
  • The current machinery for coordinating policy (the Joint Ministerial Committee) is not fit for purpose and should be reformed.
  • New environmental governance structures (i.e. watchdogs) must be coordinated across the nations of the UK and be transparent and accountable to legislatures and
    citizens.
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