Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has called for a new Environment Act to ensure that key principles such as ‘polluter pays’ is enshrined in law after the UK leaves the EU.
In a report on the implications on the capital, Khan has expressed “deep concern” about the impact of Brexit on the environment, particularly air pollution.
His report calls on ministers to guarantee that environmental regulations, monitoring and enforcement standards will be strengthened in the aftermath of Brexit rather than weakened.
“A whole range of other environmental protections and targets are driven by EU directives and regulations, from biodiversity to waste, which are of huge benefit to London,” it said.
Pointing out that London’s recycling rate had risen from 7% to 35% following the Landfill Directive, the report adds: “If the Government is unable to replicate these principles and protections in UK law then the protections we enjoy will be compromised.
“The Government should legislate for a new Environment Act to ensure that the UK has an equivalent or better level of protection than in the EU, enshrining key environmental safeguarding principles such as polluter pays, environmental rights for citizens and the precautionary principle.”
Khan has also called for “necessary powers and resources” to be devolved to the authorities best placed to tackle their environmental issues and targets.
“The Government must ensure that any proposed changes are subject to full parliamentary scrutiny. The UK should commit to maintaining at least comparable standards, ensuring that we are able to shape new ones.”