New Environment Bill (UK)

Today 18th July (in fact just now), the UK Prime Minister announced the Government will bring forward the first Environment Bill since 1995. This is a highly significant development. At the Liaison Committee (of select committee chairs) underway at the moment, Mrs May stated this would encompass more ambitious objectives for air quality and also the opportunities that leaving the EU might bring.

I will issue a new Blog post when further detail is published. And obviously, in due course, Email Alert(s) will be issued to subscribers to the Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers and Law Checklists.

UK exits the EU (UK-EU Future Relationship White Paper)

UPDATE : Barnier statement following the July 2018 General Affairs Council (Article 50) – here – note his reference to agrifoods (the UK proposal for EU alignment only relates to goods checked at the border, this leaves aspects such as GMOs and pesticides to diverge, as I pointed out below)

Following the Chequers Statement, that has been widely published in UK media, the UK Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) has today (12th July) issued the long awaited UK White Paper setting out the UK proposals for the UK-EU Trade Deal (the Future Relationship).

The Chequers Statement is here.

The UK issued White Paper is here.

Please read these in the context of the EU issued Brexit Preparedness Notices (I have posted about these before) here.

A few points to note in the UK issued White Paper :

(1) Paragraph 30 – the UK seeks participation in the ECHA, EMA and EASA. Re the ECHA, the UK seeks to ensure UK businesses could continue to register substances directly with the ECHA, rather than working through an EU-based representative.

(2) Paragraph 36 – the UK will tailor its food policy (including food labelling) locally.

UK-EU negotiations will re-commence with the EU on Monday.

The UK will bring forward it’s separate White Paper on the EU (Withdrawal and Implementation) Bill shortly. This Bill will give effect to the UK-EU Withdrawal Treaty. Prior to publication by the UK of this Future Relationship White Paper, EU had confirmed 80% of the UK-EU Withdrawal Treaty had been agreed.

The UK Trade Bill and Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bills return for their Third Reading next week.

Commencement of European (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (UK)

The first Statutory Instrument was made yesterday (3rd July 2018) under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. It is called The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (Commencement and Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2018 – here.

These Regulations commence from 4th July 2018 more parts of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, specifically the sections that provide for the making by Government departments of Statutory Instruments to aid a smooth and orderly exit from the EU.

We can now expect a large number of Statutory Instruments to be made, and the effect of these on the laws that are already in place could be quite intricate.

I will begin to compile these, and as I have said in earlier posts, these will be corralled into one webpage linked from the top right hand side of the ENV and OHS Legislation Registers. Please continue to pay close attention to this Blog.

Note : Section 1 which repeals the European Communities Act 1972 is not commenced by this Instrument, and it remains in force for the moment.

Also, some sections of the 2018 Act were already commenced by the Act itself, on Royal Assent, specifically section 20 Interpretation, it is in this section 20 that the exit date is defined to be the 29 March 2019 at 11pm. Also section 16 Environmental Principles was commenced on Royal Assent (26 June 2018)

Further Instruments (not yet made) will commence other parts of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

The photograph is Steve Baker MP, Minister at DExEU, signing this first Statutory Instruments.

Statutory Instruments are secondary legislation, they do not necessarily need to be debated or voted on.

National Emission Ceilings Directive (EU)

In 2011-2013 the Commission conducted a review of the EU air policy which resulted in the adoption of the Clean Air Policy Package. As part of the package, the Commission proposed a Clean Air Programme for Europe, updating the 2005 Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution in order to set new objectives for EU air policy for 2020 and 2030.

The main legislative instrument to achieve the 2030 objectives of the Clean Air Programme is new Directive 2016/2284/EU on the reduction of national emissions of certain atmospheric pollutants which entered into force on 31 December 2016. This Directive sets national reduction commitments for the five pollutants (sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, ammonia and fine particulate matter) responsible for acidification, eutrophication and ground-level ozone pollution which leads to significant negative impacts on human health and the environment.

The new Directive repeals and replaces Directive 2001/81/EC, the National Emission Ceilings Directive (NEC Directive) from the date of its transposition (30 June 2018) ensuring that the emission ceilings for 2010 set in that Directive shall apply until 2020. Directive 2016/2284 also transposes the reduction commitments for 2020 taken by the EU and its Member States under the revised Gothenburg Protocol and sets more ambitious reduction commitments for 2030 so as to cut the health impacts of air pollution by half compared with 2005.

Directive 2016/2284/EU is here. A Q&A about the Directive is here.

Some customers have already requested this Directive or have the Directive already. The national implementing regulations will be inserted into the ENV Air Register. Email Alerts will be sent out. If you need this Directive (and it’s local implementing regulations), please email me direct.

The role of the Member States in coordinating and implementing the Directive at national level is very important. Member States must transpose the Directive into national legislation by 30 June 2018 and produce a National Air Pollution Control Programme by 2019 setting out measures to ensure that emissions of the five main air pollutants are reduced by the percentages agreed by 2020 and 2030.  They must also coordinate with plans in fields such as transport, agriculture, energy and climate.

The Commission will work with Member States to ensure sound implementation, for example by setting up a new Clean Air Forum by autumn 2017. This will bring together stakeholders to exchange experience and good practice. The Commission will also facilitate access to EU funding instruments.

BREXIT : the UK has enacted implementing regulations (in force 1st July 2018) – here

The obligations rest with national implementing authorities, the new National Emission Ceilings Directive does not create direct obligations for facility managers or owners.

European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (UK)

This is my second post in a few days. I updated my earlier post online. I’m posting again, because this post will be emailed to you (and it contains additional information).

The Act received Royal Assent on 26th June 2018, and today (27th June) the Explanatory Notes are published – here.

In due course, I will compile this Act, together with the other Brexit Acts, as Brexit Acts (not Brexit Bills) and Statutory Instruments, linked on the top right of the index page to the Cardinal Environment ENV Legislation Registers, and also on the top right of the index page of the Cardinal Environment OHS Legislation Registers.

Only when the many Brexit Acts and Statutory Instruments are enacted, and it’s clear how the statute base is being affected, will the laws be input into the Registers.

A couple of things to note :

(1) the 1972 European Communities Act (that gives authority for EU law in the UK) is repealed on exit day – exit day is 29th March 2019 at 11pm – the section providing for this repeal is not commenced on Royal Assent – a further Commencement Order is required (this will be published),

(2) existing domestic legislation (what I call local legislation) which implements EU law obligations is termed ‘EU-derived domestic legislation’, and is also referred to in the Explanatory Notes as ‘preserved legislation’,

[I had a plan to denote EU-derived domestic legislation in the Cardinal Environment EHS Registers, but this will clutter the Registers]

EU-derived domestic legislation will remain on the statute base after the UK leaves the EU. This includes legislation that is passed or made but not yet in force on exit day.

(3) EU legislation in force before exit day that sets out forward dates, is incorporated into domestic law, and those dates stand. This is section 3 of the Act.

Per the Explanatory Notes –

87  Under section 3, direct EU legislation is only converted and incorporated into domestic law “so far as operative immediately before exit day”. Subsection (3) clarifies what this means. The default position in section 3(3)(c) is that direct EU legislation is operative if it is in force immediately before exit day. However, some EU legislation applies in a staggered way over time, and the Act ensures that, so far as a relevant instrument has entered into force and applies before exit day, it will be converted into domestic legislation. It is only if the provision is “stated to apply” from a later time (see section 3(3)(a)), and that time falls on or after exit day, that the provision would not fall within the ambit of the section. So, where there is a stated date of application, and this date falls after exit day, the provision is not converted. This means that, provided it is not expressly stated to apply from a date falling on or after exit day, EU legislation which is in force before exit day will be converted even if it has some effect which crystallises after exit day.

(4) section 8 enables deficiencies to be corrected, I do expect a raft of new statutory instruments, and this is why I am corralling the Brexit Acts and Statutory Instruments into a single link until I understand how the existing statute base in the Registers is affected,

(5) section 16 obliges the DEFRA Secretary to publish draft legislation setting out listed environmental principles,

Per the Explanatory Notes –

171  This section requires that, six months after Royal Assent of this Act, the Secretary of State must publish draft legislation which sets out a list of environmental principles (which are listed in subsection (2)). The draft legislation must place a duty on the Secretary of State to publish a policy statement in relation to the application and interpretation of those principles which, when circumstances to be set out under the legislation apply, ministers of the Crown must have regard to in making and developing policy.

172  The draft legislation must also define environmental law and make provision for the establishment of a public authority with functions for taking proportionate enforcement action (including legal proceedings if necessary) where the authority considers that a minister of the Crown is not complying with that environmental law.

173  The duty on the Secretary of State to publish a draft Bill applies in relation to England, and to reserved matters across the rest of the UK.

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill (UK)

UPDATE (Wednesday 27 June) : Royal Assent was given yesterday (26th June), the Act is now published. I will add it to the Cardinal EHS Legislation Registers.

The Act is here.

I posted before about this key UK Brexit Bill. The Bill is now ready for Royal Assent.

When it is available in its Act form, I will add it to the Cardinal EHS Legislation Registers as a Link to UK Brexit Bills. I will put this Link to UK Brexit Acts on the top right hand side, linking from both the Environment Registers index page, and the OHS Registers index page. The Link is not yet there.

The purpose of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill is to repeal the European Communities Act 1972. It will also make other provisions in connection with the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. The European Communities Act 1972 was the principal means by which EU law was given effect in the UK.

The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill will first be an Act (after receipt of Royal Assent), and then commenced by separate enactment(s). It will not apply until it is commenced. Commencement could be in sections. Until the relevant section(s) are commenced, the 1972 Act remains in force.