No deal Brexit waste concerns – A no-deal Brexit could result in significant disruption to waste exports, livestock exportation and manure stores.
There have been heightening concerns from officials who are preparing for possible incidents of pollution caused by “leaking stockpiles”, as stated by The Guardian. Reports from the newspaper claim leaked emails show Environment Agency (EA) officials are asking for 42 volunteers to staff “crisis management centres” that will deal with waste incidents in the evet the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
No deal Brexit waste concerns. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, export licenses for millions of tonnes of waste could be invalid overnight, which the Environment Agency say could lead to significant pollution. The EA is also concerned that exportation of beef and lamb could be disrupted and cause a backlog of livestock on farms, which can cause manure stores to overflow. If waste does get stockpiled after 29 March, the south-east of England populous would be the worst affected.
Environment Secretary, Michael Gove also outlined Defra preparations for the stockpiling of waste in the event of a no-deal Brexit. In his letter sent on 15 January, he says the Environment Agency began assessing the UK’s waste disposal capacity.
It was reported last month that plans were being put in place by Defra, to deal with any disruption that may occur to waste exports, which could see some sites being allowed to temporarily exceed storage tonnages.
Defra explained its confidence that a no-deal Brexit “will not have a significant impact on the continued export of the UK’s notified waste shipments that have already been agreed”. Defra has received agreement to roll over 98% of existing consents for waste exports to the EU from the UK, and accepted 545 out of 556 current approvals.
Michael Gove’s letter also highlights moderate fears regarding the state of import and export licenses for the shipment of waste between the UK and the EU, in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. The letter states that ‘substantial progress’ was made in ‘agreeing with EU counterparts that shipments of notified waste which had previously received consent can… continue to be shipped with no requirement for a new application by UK exporters.’
Gove expresses confidence that it would be possible to obtain re-approval of the remaining shipments before the 29 March, saying ‘it is in the interest of EU competent authorities to roll over existing notifications in order to avoid the burden of re-approving applications at a later date’.