On 29th March 2017, Theresa May triggered Article 50, which started the process of us leaving the EU. The goal was to be entirely independent of the EU by March 2019 – meaning that until that date we are still be bound by EU law. This event has will have a huge impact on the future of the country and the way the waste and recycling business does business. We’ve created the Blog On Brexit to keep you up to date with all these changes.
The Great Repeal Bill
On 30th March 2017, a government white paper was published to set out the terms of the Great Repeal Bill. This piece of legislation will transpose EU laws to UK law and will include all the existing EU legislation and regulations on packaging, WEEE and landfill.
This process has posed many challenges for the government and is necessarily a lengthy endeavour that requires a more in-depth understanding of the EU laws that are currently a part of UK law. Controversially, the Great Repeal Bill will also allow for the amendment (and repealing) of legislation without parliamentary scrutiny. The government has promised only to use these powers to make technical amendments, rather than to create policy shifts, but here we enter a grey area – what differentiates a technical amendment from a policy change?
DEFRA advise that there are 1200 pieces of environmental legislation affected with 850 needing amendments plus 100 new statutory instruments to be passed between now and March 2019 when the bill is supposed to come into force.
After months of hard work during which time more than 500 amendments were discussed, on 8th February 2018 work on the Great Repeal Bill stalled. As it stands at the moment, an end date for the bill passing into law is unclear.
The Paris Agreement 2016
The Paris Agreement 2016 sets out legally binding commitments for sharing the burden of cutting carbon emissions with the other EU member states. After March 2019, the UK could remain a member of this scheme –but may not.
The Circular Economy Package
The Circular Economy Package aims to replace the linear model, in which products are created, used and disposed of in landfill, with a circular model that promotes the re-use or recycling of goods. DEFRA is planning to bring this to law before March 2019, meaning that it may become UK law under the Great Repeal Bill.
Even if this doesn’t happen, UK producers of products sold in the EU would be affected by this law