The EU Referendum and the UK Environment: An Expert Review

12th April 2016

This expert review provides a detailed review of the academic evidence on how EU membership has influenced UK policies, systems of decision making and environmental quality. Containing 14 chapters and over 60,000 words, it documents how the EU has affected UK environmental policy and how, in turn, the UK has worked through the EU to shape wider, international thinking. It has been authored by 14 international experts, who have drawn on the findings of over 700 publications to offer an impartial and authoritative assessment of the evidence.

It is widely acknowledged that the EU has had a profound effect upon UK environmental policy, both through single market and environmental regulation, and policies in areas such as agriculture, climate change, energy and fisheries.

This booklet neatly summarizes the findings of a rigorous academic analysis of the environmental effects of EU membership since 1973 and then reviews what might happen in the event of a vote to Remain or Leave. It demonstrates clearly how deeply entangled the EU and UK have become over this period. The analysis was funded by the ESRC’s The UK in a Changing Europe Initiative. It helps to advance that Initiative’s mission to provide impartial, research-based evidence into what promises to be a highly charged debate around the referendum.

The contributors are acknowledged academic experts in their respective fields. In contributing to this review, their mission is to explain, not to campaign for either side. By making the findings of existing academic research available,their intention is to help people to make up their own minds.

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