Always Keep a Hold of Nurse: British Environmental Law and Exit from the European Union

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Following a critical analysis of the contribution of the EU to the development of UK environmental law, this paper cautions against too great a nostalgia as the United Kingdom leaves the EU. It then reviews the Brexit vote in a wider political context and suggests that Brexit does open up opportunity for change in environmental law. It then explores how the form of Brexit may shape that law going forward and it points to the significant workload that lies ahead, which itself might limit opportunities for change. It concludes by reviewing the future shape of environmental law, as between devolved governments, once the harmonising force and governance structures of EU environmental law disappear and, in doing so, it counsels caution.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-164
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Environmental Law
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


  • environment, Brexit, Law