Following the EU referendum, policy teams within government are working to understand the implications of leaving the EU on their specific areas. So as well as developing macro messaging on the big issues impacting the sector, we are also busy assessing the implications in specific policy areas.
Following a workshop in September, we have developed some initial thoughts on the treatment of waste policy
Our key points are:
Maintain environmental outcomes: No fundamental watering down of environmental ambition or standards.
Resist making rushed decisions: Waste legislation is a complex framework which has developed following decades of detailed negotiations. Rash decisions are very likely to lead to unintended negative consequences. We recommend maintaining the current legislative framework, until individual pieces of legislation can be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Harmonise legislation where appropriate: Focus on areas that will ease burdens on businesses wanting access to the EU market or where there is a strong justification for multilateral cooperation.
As a minimum ensure a common framework for the definition, classification and movement of waste:The shipment of waste is a transboundary issue which requires a common framework. To that end, negotiations should seek to maintain harmonisation with Europe. We do not want to see companies facing additional hurdles and costs to send products off to repair or reuse.
Recognise that many of the opportunities to improve UK waste policy is already within government’s gift: Opportunities for simplification and new ways of doing things should focus on non-single market elements and tackling waste crime.
Work closely with industry: We urge Defra to establish a business sounding board, with representation from across the waste supply chain, to support its decision making as the situation develops. Firmer plans must be subject to consultation and Parliamentary scrutiny.
Our paper is available to download below. We will now be refining our thinking over time as things become clearer. We will also be deep diving into a number of topics of specific interest to our sector