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‘Brexit means Brexit’, but what does Brexit mean for the environment? Whatever kind of Brexit is delivered there will be implications for the organisation and management of environmental governance in the UK.


British environmental policy has been relatively stable under a EU framework, but Brexit may profoundly destabilise the sector. 


Policy-makers, environmental organisations and businesses need expert knowledge on the current policy landscape in order to seize the opportunities and the risks posed by Brexit. The public also need information. Because policy making in the EU is often highly technical, its net effect on the daily lives of UK citizens and their local environment tends to escape media attention.


We are a network of independent researchers from across the UK and the EU working on different projects related to Brexit and the environment. This website, funded by the ESRC, is a hub of information for all types of users, and is an authoritative and impartial source of independent research on how Brexit is affecting the environment.

The EU referendum & the UK environment: an Expert Review

Because policy making in the EU is often highly technical, its net effect on the daily lives of UK citizens and their local environment tends to escape media attention. This project offers a detailed review of the academic evidence on how EU membership has influenced UK policies, systems of decision making and environmental quality. It reviews EU-UK relations and discusses different scenarios for the future including two options following a vote to Leave: a ‘Norway’ option and a ‘Free Trade’ option.


This project is funded by the Economic and Social Science Research Council (ESRC) through its UK in a Changing Europe Initiative and Impact Acceleration scheme, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s Higher Education Innovation Fund.

Publications:

We produced a 60.000 words Expert Review (supplemented by an executive summary) on how EU membership had affected the UK environment (April 2016). We produced an updated brief on Soft & Hard Brexit in August 2016.

Read our publications
Events:

We launched our review on 11 April 2016 in London, and held discussions on its findings on 3 May 2016 (Norwich), 23 May 2016 (Brussels) 14 June 2016 (Oxford), 8 July 2016 (Oxford).

Past events
Project participants:

Dr Nathalie Berny, Sciences Po Bordeaux
Professor Simon Bulmer FAcSS, University of Sheffield
Dr Charlotte Burns, University of York
Professor Neil Carter, University of York
Dr Richard Cowell, Cardiff University
Joseph Dutton, University of Exeter
Dr Viviane Gravey, Queen’s University Belfast
Professor Andy Jordan, University of East Anglia
Brendan Moore, University of East Anglia
Professor Sebastian Oberthür, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Institute for European Studies
Professor Susan Owens OBE, FAcSS, FBA, University of Cambridge
Dr Tim Rayner, University of East Anglia
Professor Colin T. Reid, University of Dundee
Professor Joanne Scott FBA, FRSE, University College London
Dr Bryce Stewart, University of York

Brexit and the future of UK and EU agri-environment and fisheries

Whatever kind of Brexit is negotiated, leaving the EU also means leaving the Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy – the key frameworks regulating these sectors. We produced two reports bring together current evidence and the views of stakeholders across both sectors, to identify priorities and examine the potential risks and opportunities for future policy, and to identify new governance options.

This project is funded by the ESRC IAA Brexit/Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. 

Publications:

We produced two policy briefs analysing the constraints, challenges and opportunities for new UK agriculture & food as well as fisheries & marine policies.

Read our publications
Events:

We held two parallel stakeholder workshops in March 2017 at the University of York which fed into the two policy briefs launched in July 2017 in London.

Past events
Project participants:

Dr Iain Brown, Stockholm Environment Institute York
Dr Charlotte Burns, University of York
Dr Fay Farstad, University of York
Dr Viviane Gravey, Queen’s University Belfast
Professor Sue Hartley, University of York
Dr Adam Hejnowicz, University of York
Dr Kevin Hicks, Stockholm Environment Institute York
Dr Bethan O’Leary, University of York
Dr Bryce Stewart, University of York

UK Environmental Governance Post-Brexit: What Will Happen to Waste?

This project investigated the various ways that UK policy for waste and the circular economy might develop as the UK leaves the European Union.  The report draws on interviews with key waste actors in the business, environmental and government sectors.

The project is funded by Cardiff University under its Impact Acceleration scheme.

Publications:

This project produced one policy brief assessing the impact of Brexit on the UK waste resource management sector (July 2017).

Read our publications
Events:

Experts eminars were held in Cardiff on 30th March and in London on 31st March 2017 

Project Participants:

Professor Richard Cowell, Cardiff University 
Dr Andrew Flynn, Cardiff University
Dr Nick Hacking, Cardiff University  

Brexit and the Repoliticisation of UK Environmental Governance

‘Brexit and the Repoliticisation of UK Environmental Governance’ is a UK-wide project (York, UEA, Cardiff, Dundee, Queen’s University Belfast) investigating potential divergence, dismantling and contestation in UK environmental policy and governance following the vote to leave the European Union. The project is funded by the ESRC and part of the ‘UK in a Changing Europe’ initiative. 

Project participants:

Dr Charlotte Burns, University of York
Professor Neil Carter
, University of York
Professor Richard Cowell, Cardiff University
Dr Fay Farstad, University of York
Dr Viviane Gravey, Queen’sUniversity Belfast
Professor Andy Jordan, University of East Anglia
Professor Colin Reid, University of Dundee