Businesses asked how EU environment policies impact the UK

Defra and DECC have launched a consultation asking businesses and organisations whether being a part of the EU helps or hinders their work on the environment and climate change.

In the first review of its kind, businesses, experts and individuals will be asked how they feel EU action on the environment and climate change impacts the UK.

The 12 week consultation is part of a wider review known as the Balance of Competences which was launched by the Foreign Secretary William Hague last July.

The Government says the review will further its commitment to examining the balance of power between the EU and the UK.

Groups will be asked about issues such as how far they think the UK might benefit from the EU taking more or less action on the environment and climate change, and whether EU legislation provides the right balance between protecting the environment and the wider UK economic interest.

The consultation is open until August 12 2013 and the findings will be published next winter.

According to the Government, the findings will contribute to a national debate on the environment, climate change and the EU, but will not make specific policy recommendations.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said: “This is the first time that people are being asked directly how individual EU policies affect them and their businesses. It’s important that we understand how policies on the environment and climate change affect people living and working with them in everyday life.

“I look forward to hearing the views of businesses and others as they will help inform future discussions and debates on Europe.”

In total, the Government is expected to produce 32 reports by autumn 2014 on how it works with the EU.

Defra has been asked to produce four reports on environment and climate change, agriculture, fisheries and animal health and welfare and food safety.

Conor McGlone

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