Brexit and the devolution dynamics

Colin Reid (Lead / Corresponding author)

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Brexit will mean the return of powers from Brussels not just to London but to a devolved United Kingdom, with environmental matters primarily a responsibility of the devolved administrations. This will require careful attention to how and where law can be made. The devolved authorities could go their own way on many issues but the need to comply with international obligations will provide a continuing constraint, and a source of tension since all aspects of international relations remain in the hands of the UK authorities. There are strong reasons for continuing cooperation and coordination across the UK, and with the EU, but mechanisms to achieve this must be found. Differing ambitions for the post-Brexit position may have consequences for devolution itself, with the Scottish Government calling for powers in some non-devolved areas currently dominated by EU law to be passed away from London and for a stronger role in international affairs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-5
Number of pages3
JournalEnvironmental Law Review
Issue number1
Early online date1 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017
EventBrexit and Environmental Law - King’s College , London, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Jan 2017 → …


  • Brexit
  • Environmental law
  • Devolution


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