An Analysis of the Consultation on Environmental Principles and Governance in Scotland

Sean Whittaker (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the two years following the Brexit referendum in 2016, one of the most hotly questioned issues is the impact that leaving the European Union (EU) will have on environmental law in the UK. This issue is of particular importance to the Scottish Government: the environment is a devolved matter and it is the responsibility of Holyrood to replace the environmental legislation that will no longer have effect as a result of the United Kingdom (UK) leaving the EU. In addition to this Holyrood must also replace the oversight mechanisms and expertise provided by the EU institutions, which have proven instrumental in effectively implementing EU environmental law at the domestic level.

As such, following the Roundtable on Environment and Climate Change report and the UK Withdrawal From the European Union (Legal Continuity) (Scotland) Bill, Holyrood has opened its consultation process on maintaining effective environmental governance post-Brexit. This article will highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the consultation paper’s starting positions on the environmental principles and the environmental governance mechanisms that will underlie future environmental legislation post-Brexit. Further, the paper will consider the lack of focus given to intra-UK cooperation and how this may undermine any positive steps taken by Holyrood to maintain or improve environmental law enforcement post-Brexit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-32
Number of pages3
JournalScottish Planning and Environmental Law
Issue number192
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


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