ECOS 37 (1) Spring 2016. What would Brexit mean for nature? Mike Townsend

Abstract: Very little of the debate around the EU referendum has considered the impacts on policy towards wildlife and the natural environment. Yet this is a critical area of EU competency with the potential for wide-ranging consequences. Much of our wildlife and environmental legislation enacts EU Directives and this link would be broken by a UK exit from Europe. However, regardless of whether we stay in or leave, does the fact of the referendum and the debate about the degree of influence of the EU in UK policy represent a turning point? Might there be a weakening of environmental protection regardless of the outcome? And in any event, can we say that current policies are fit for purpose whether in or out?

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