Scottish and Welsh environment ministers are to meet to co-ordinate opposition to Brexit legislation. The two administrations fear the Westminster government is planning to take over powers which are currently devolved, but exercised in Brussels.
Scottish Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said a UK-wide framework for green targets could hold Scotland back. UK ministers have insisted that any changes after Brexit will enhance, not reduce, environmental protection. Environment Secretary Michael Gove has targeted a green Brexit, which would strengthen current rules safeguarding nature wherever possible.
The Scottish and Welsh governments have banded together to oppose moves from Westminster on several occasions in recent months, with first ministers Nicola Sturgeon and Carwyn Jones issuing a joint statement describing the EU Withdrawal Bill as a naked power grab.
Ms Cunningham's visit to Cardiff to meet Welsh counterpart Lesley Griffiths comes three weeks after Scottish Brexit minister Mike Russell made a similar trip to sit down with Welsh Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford.
They maintained their position that they could not recommend that Holyrood or the Welsh Assembly give legislative consent for the withdrawal bill, which is designed to translate EU law onto to the UK statute book as part of the Brexit transition.
Ms Cunningham contended that about 80% of Scots environmental law originated at EU level, including legislation around waste management, pollution, biodiversity, flooding and drinking water quality.
The MSP said imposing a UK-wide framework could potentially undermine the more ambitious targets set in Scotland. We are not opposed in principle to UK-wide frameworks in certain areas but this must be through agreement - not imposition.
Protecting devolution will allow us to drive forward our ambitious work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance environmental standards and create a cleaner, greener Scotland for everyone.
Ms Griffiths added: Devolution has enabled the Welsh government to deliver ground-breaking legislation for the people of Wales, which delivers on international obligations and has been recognized as cutting-edge by a number of international institutions.
The approach presented by the UK government in the Withdrawal Bill could significantly undermine this progress.
Top CommentsDisclaimer & comment rules
Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!