IF the UK was to exit the EU it could affect transnational efforts to curb air pollution, according to comments made to the Environmental Audit Committee by environmental lawyer Angus Evers in early January.
The issue was raised during a session of the Committee’s inquiry into EU environmental legislation, which is intended to inform debate on environmental policy, anticipating the UK’s referendum on membership of the EU.
According to Air Quality News, Evers, of law firm King & Wood Mallesons, said an EU exit could hinder efforts to control cross-boundary air pollution from incinerators.
Smoking chimney: We need a framework to deal with things like incinerator pollution being blown across the North Sea, suggested Evers.
Speaking as co-convener and member of the UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA), Evers suggested we need a framework across Europe to deal with air quality issues, such as incinerator pollution in the UK being blown across the North Sea and vice versa.
Addressing the possibility of the UK leaving the EU he said: “I think it would very much depend on what the nature of the UK’s relationship with the EU is post an exit. Would we be members of EFTA [European Free Trade Association]? We need to look at the UK’s participation in a number of other treaties. There’s a lot of international law out there which the UK has ratified and a lot of that has been adopted by the EU.”
Chaired by Huw Irranca-Davies, Labour MP for Ogmore, the Committee also heard from panellists Diane Mitchell, chief environment adviser for the National Farmers Union, and Martin Harper, director of Conservation for the RSPB.