This Friday’s edition of the Brexit Briefing is the first of three articles which will cover the recent release of the manifesto from a number of the major political parties ahead of the General Election (8 June 2017).
The Conservatives, Labour & Liberal Democrats have released their 2017 Manifesto this week. Other manifesto released will be covered in the following two Brexit Briefings.
Each manifesto is presented in the specific order of importance of their representation in the UK Parliament, Devolved Parliaments and Assemblies & the EU Parliament prior to dissolution of the UK Parliament on 3 May 2017 (25 working days prior to the General Election on 8 June 2017).
I have highlighted the relevant sections dealing specifically with environmental and Brexit issues for ease of reference.
The available manifesto with links to download your copy together with a commentary of their environmental and sustainability follow:
There is no specific Environmental section with two prominent sub-sections covering Natural Gas from Shale on page A23 (25) & Protecting the Global Environment, which can be found on page A40 (42) with other references to environmental issues as follows:
- Devising a new agri-environment system (A26)
- Expand Natural England’s role to provide technical expertise to farmers (A26)
- Production of a comprehensive 25 year Environmental Plan (A26)
- A new regime for commercial fishing and to withdraw from the London Fisheries Convention (A27)
- The Great Repeal Act and repatriating EU Law into the United Kingdom (A36)
- Continued use of aid to support Sustainable Development Goals (A39)
Brexit can be found in pages A1, A4, A6, A7, A8, A10, A30, A32, A35, A36 & A37.
The main Environmental section can be found on pages 95 – 96 with other references to environmental issues as follows:
- Amend Company Law to hold Directors to a duty towards the environment (19)
- Privatisation of the energy system (22)
- Replace the Great Repeal Bill with EU Rights and Protections Bill (26)
- Support a low carbon future in an Environmental Goods Agreement at the World Trade Organisation (33)
- Retain the Human Rights Act (82)
- Establish an Environmental Tribunal (83)
- Encourage people to get out of their cars for a cleaner environment (93)
Brexit can be found in Section 2: Negotiating Brexit (Pages 23 – 31).
The main Environmental section can be found on pages 79 – 92 (77- 90) together with International Action with other references to environmental issues as follows:
- Grow a low-carbon economy (23)
- Press for higher environmental standards for export credit agencies throughout the OECD (29)
- Establish an Office for Environmental Responsibility scrutinising the government’s efforts to meet its environmental targets (29)
- Establish a Low-Carbon Transition Fund (33)
- Further regulatory regime for Shale Gas fracking and contribution to a low-carbon economy (33)
- Pass a Nature Act to put the Natural Capital Committee (NCC) on a statutory footing (81)
- Introduce a fuller Right to Roam and a new designation of National Nature Parks (82)
- Place the management of public forests on a sustainable footing in line with the recommendations of the Independent Panel on Forestry (82)
- Tackle wildlife and environmental crime with increased enforcement of environmental regulations (82)
- Improve UK enforcement of the EU Birds and Habitats Directive (82)
- Bring forward a package of measures to protect bees and other pollinators, including legal protection for bumblebee nests (82)
- Designate an ecologically coherent network of marine protected areas with appropriate management by 2020 (82)
- Task the Natural Capital Committee with producing a ‘Stern report’ on resource use (82)
- Promote sustainable design (82)
- Establish a coherent tax and regulatory framework for landfill, incineration and waste collection to drive continuous increases in reuse and recycling rates (83)
- Commission the Natural Capital Committee to investigate the potential for other resource taxes (83)
- Establish a statutory waste recycling target of 70% in England (83)
- Encourage the growth of anaerobic digestion to produce biogas for heat and transport, and sustainable fertiliser, working with Local Authorities to extend separate food waste collections to at least 90% of homes by 2020 (83)
- Establish a legal requirement targeted at the most polluted towns and cities, to create Low Emission Zones (87)
- Support for new EU proposals on air quality targets and updated plans to more quickly meet existing EU air quality standards for concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (87)
- Set a target of 2040 for the date after which only Ultra-Low Emission vehicles will be permitted on UK roads for non-freight purposes (87)
- Work with industry to accelerate the commercial introduction of zero emission fuel cell electric vehicles, and facilitate the UK-wide introduction of hydrogen fuelling infrastructure (87)
- Green Britain Guarantee – Five Green Laws (90 – 91)
- Support negotiations at the World Trade Organisation as well as an ambitious Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the USA, on the condition that an agreement upholds EU standards of consumer, employee and environmental protection (149)
- Cooperate with other European countries to address environmental threats and tackle climate change by securing agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 and other international action (150 – 152)
There at no specific references to Brexit in the manifesto but references to the UK relationship with the European Union can be found can be found throughout the manifesto.