Dr Mary Dobbs and Dr Viviane Gravey, from Queen’s University Belfast and Dr Ludivine Petetin from Cardiff UniversityWritten evidence LPF0012


This evidence is written by Dr Mary Dobbs and Dr Viviane Gravey, from Queen’s University Belfast and Dr Ludivine Petetin from Cardiff University. Ludivine Petetin and Mary Dobbs are respectively Senior Lecturer and Lecturer in Law with expertise in agri-environmental issues and are currently writing a book on Brexit and Agriculture. Dr Viviane Gravey is a Lecturer in European Politics, co-chair of the Brexit & Environment network, which brings together academics analysing how Brexit is affecting the UK and EU environments. All three have and are engaging with stakeholders across the UK on the impact of Brexit.







  1. Both the EU and UK have included clauses on upholding levels of environmental protection, what are the implications of the different approaches?



    1. How would the EU and UK’s different approaches to non-regression affect UK policy-making?
    2. What happens if a party lowers their standards or level of protection under each approach?



  1. Must the agreement refer to the common standards that apply in the EU and UK at the end of the transition period to be acceptable to the EU, or could it refer to other standards in some areas, for instance those in international environmental and climate agreements?
    1. Would a reference to common standards in the EU and UK at the end of the transition period bring in the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU)?



Environmental principles


  1. If the environmental principles are included in a UK-EU agreement, what difference would that make to policy-making and the decisions of courts in the UK?



Enforcement and dispute resolution


  1. What shape should the relevant enforcement and dispute resolution mechanisms take to be both negotiable and to help ensure that the agreement can be maintained in the long-term?
    1. Does the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) meet the criteria of the ‘independent body’ required under the EU’s proposal?


Trade deals with the rest of the world


  1. What effect would level playing field commitments in a UK-EU agreement have on the UK’s ability to do other trade deals, or the shape of those?



Reaching an agreement

14.   Where do you see the landing zone between the UK and EU’s positions?






[1] Reid, C. 2020 Environmental principles, governance and alignment in Scotland: The new Continuity Bill https://www.brexitenvironment.co.uk/2020/06/24/environmental-principles-governance-alignment-scotland-new-continuity-bill/

[2] E.g., Charlotte Burns, Viviane Gravey and Mary Dobbs, invited evidence to NI’s AERA committee’s inquiry on the Environment Bill, February 2020, https://pureadmin.qub.ac.uk/ws/portalfiles/portal/201134740/Evidence_on_the_UK_Environment_Bill_for_AERA_NIA._Brexit_and_Environment_Network._Feb_2020.pdf. For a critique of the earlier approach in the 2018 Bill which is largely applicable in the current 2019 Bill, see Mary Dobbs, ‘Environmental Principles in the Environment Bill’, https://www.brexitenvironment.co.uk/2019/01/30/environmental-principles-environment-bill/.

[3] E.g. Maria Lee, ‘The Environment Bill – a framework for progressive environmental law?’, 18th October 2019, https://www.brexitenvironment.co.uk/2019/10/18/framework-progressive-environmental-law/.

[4] Burns, C. et al. Environmental Policy in a devolved United Kingdom: Challenges and opportunities after Brexit, October 2018 https://www.brexitenvironment.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/BrexitEnvUKReport.pdf