Environmental divergence: Could the UK cut green rules after Brexit?

With the arrival of Boris Johnson in Number 10, there are growing signs that the UK government is seeking to diverge from EU environmental rules after Brexit. But which protections are most at threat?

The UK’s chief negotiator in Brussels, David Frost, is reported to have informed his EU counterparts that the government is seeking less stringent ‘level playing field’ provisions in a future agreement with the bloc.

Meanwhile, environment minister Theresa Villiers told MPs on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee that the UK’s “commitment to maintain high standards does not mean keeping forever to the same EU laws”. 

Johnson insists that the UK will retain “world-leading” environmental standards after Brexit, with Villiers’ department DEFRA pledging that the UK will not weaken standards and may seek to enhance them where possible. 

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