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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S6W-02359
Asked by: Mercedes Villalba, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour
Date lodged: 24 August 2021

Question

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the commitment by the previous SNP administration to maintain environmental standards in line with those in the EU, whether it is still committed to this.

Current status: Answered by Mairi McAllan on 14 September 2021


Answer

The Scottish Government remains committed to maintain or exceed the environmental standards in place upon EU exit. Provisions in the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Act 2021 give a discretionary power to align devolved law with EU law. The Scottish Government and Scottish Green Party’s Shared Policy Programme also commits that, where practicable, we will stay aligned with new EU measures and policy developments.

However, the UK Internal Market Act 2020 risks undermining devolved decision-making across a wide range of areas, including environmental policy. The Act’s market access principle means that despite decisions we may make in Scotland to protect and advance the high standards we enjoyed as part of the EU, Scotland could be compelled to accept goods and services coming from other parts of the UK regardless of differing standards.