Government confirms existing EU environmental legislation will pass into UK law

Yesterday the government released a white paper that mapped out how the UK will legislate for the withdrawal from the EU.

The Department for Exiting the European Union white paper, 'Legislating for the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union', confirmed that the UK is committed to leave the environment in a better state than we found it and that the whole body of EU environmental law will continue to have an effect in UK law, giving certainty for stakeholders. The Bill will put secondary legislation in place necessary to implement EU obligations once we leave the EU.

Ecosurety welcomes this much clearer, practical outline for Brexit, as it will help our members to clearly understand that it will be business as usual when it comes to producer responsibility for the next two years. Since the referendum to leave the EU, our message to members has been that this was the most likely scenario, and it is reassuring to finally have clarity from government that enables businesses to plan. 

Ecosurety will be pushing the Government hard for a deal post-Brexit for the sake of our members, many of whom conduct huge levels of businesses inside the EU. Any lack of a deal will have significant impacts. We advocate following EU environmental standards as a minimum either way after Brexit so as not to impede business with the EU.

Lack of vision beyond 2020

Robbie Staniforth, commercial manager, commented “It is good to see environmental legislation mentioned in the paper, particularly around leaving environment in better state. However, it sounds suspiciously like hot air. Being in or out will have no effect on whether the government leaves office with the environment in a fitter state, as it will still be relying on the framework and leadership of the EU by the time of the next general election in May 2020.”

“The paper itself acknowledges there won’t be the time or focus required to upgrade or improve legislation in the years between now and then. We also feel there is a lack of vision on the environment beyond 2019/2020 from the Government, and this paper confirms our concerns that there is a leadership void in this area.”

“We think the Government has a tough task ahead of it to form associated secondary legislation alongside the exit negotiations, and schemes such as ourselves could help shape this, using feedback from members on the kind of flexibility our members and the industry needs as regulatory requirements are evolved.”

To discuss how any of these issues could affect your producer responsibility compliance obligations, please contact our team on 0333 4330 370 or email us at info@ecosurety.com.

Ben Luger

Marketing projects specialist

Ben joined the team at the beginning of 2015 and helps drive marketing communications and projects for Ecosurety, including project managing the launch of the Ecosurety Exploration Fund and website content development.

Written by Ben Luger Published 31/03/2017 Topics Compliance

Useful links


The UK does not yet have comprehensive EPR systems in place, but that is set to change. Are you ready?


Packaging EPR producer enrolment now live on gov.uk

The online Report Packaging Data portal is now live for large producers to complete enrolment and nominate their compliance scheme by 1 October.


Toolkit launched to help reduce packaging waste in the construction industry

The ZAP project, funded by the Ecosurety Exploration Fund, was launched by the Alliance for Sustainable Development (ASBP) to help reduce the quantity of avoidable packaging plastic waste in construction, much of which is not recycled.


Get in touch