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  • Make UK access to single market conditional on respect for EU environment standards after Brexit – NGO

    The EU should make preferential access to the single market conditional on the UK agreeing to respect EU environmental standards and climate targets after Brexit, sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) has said. The UK government must not be allowed to engage in “environmental dumping” to give Britain an edge over its EU trade partners, the NGO’s report, Putting the Environment at the Heart of Brexit, has found.

    To safeguard the environment, T&E said the EU and UK must agree:

    1. A regulatory dialogue mechanism to oversee regulatory cooperation, harmonisation and equivalence in a transparent, accountable manner;

    2. The UK remains part of the EU’s 2030 climate framework;

    3. The UK complies with future environmental and safety standards for vehicles adopted by the EU;

    4. That vehicles approved in the UK and the EU should be approved according to the same standards and procedures, including the EU type approval framework currently being negotiated;

    5. Access to the aviation single market must be conditional on adherence to current and future safety, environmental and security regulations, rules relating to state aid, and climate protections;

    6. The UK remains in the EU ETS, or links its own emission trading system with the EU, or, failing that, in the aviation sector flights between the UK and EU be required to surrender allowances.

    Cécile Toubeau, better trade and regulation director, said: “The EU is not only an economic union, it is a climate union, an environmental union and, recently, an energy union. We have seen time and again that countries are often able to tackle long-term, challenging issues, such as climate change, more successfully when working together. Brexit should not be an opportunity to weaken this.”

    The European Commission has stated several times during the Brexit negotiations that its primary focus is on citizens’ rights and, as negotiations proceed, the interests of business and market stability.

    Cécile Toubeau concluded: “While the current negotiations between the UK and the EU 27 has focused on citizens rights and agreeing the so-called Brexit bill, the environment cannot remain an afterthought. As talks proceed, we call on the environment – which affects people and the planet – to be placed at the heart of negotiations.”

    Read more:

    Report: Putting the Environment at the Heart of Brexit