A Brexit crash out of Europe next March could be more traumatic than the TV show of the same name.
Many fear that a No Deal scenario would affect the trans-frontier shipment (TFS) of waste IN and OUT of the UK, with TFS permissions being used a political football by regulators in each Member State. When questioned at a recent DEFRA legal seminar on this issue in August this year, an EA spokeswoman tried to reassure everyone present by saying that ‘contingency plans are in place’ to store waste at the docks until permissions are given. Would this be ‘amicable’ or ‘chaotic’? Storing liquid waste is not quite so straightforward as storing solid waste, particularly if all available dock tanks are already full! Time to make sure there is no hole in the bucket!
However, many green groups believe that the UK will have to open new landfill sites or build incinerators to take the 3.6 million tonnes of waste that the UK currently sends to EU countries each year.
When these issues are considered alongside DEFRA’s disclosure that a raft of new ‘back pocket’ laws have already been drafted in readiness for a No Deal Brexit, should we be concerned? When asked if the back pocket laws are just a cut and paste of existing European laws, the answer came back – ‘apart from deleting a few paragraphs, words or sentences.....and adding in a few new words...YES!’. Could this result in a circus or would the issues be resolved by the new dispute resolution procedure?
The Government’s Brexit White Paper proposes a joint EU-UK committee that would be the first point of call for resolving disputes. BUT, would these sorts of issues be covered by a process that is really aimed at making sure we have a common rule book?