Policy, environmental protection, and fisheries management
Without the legal enforcement of the EU through the Marine Strategy Framework Directive there is a real danger that the UK will not deliver its current environmental protection and sustainable use objectives for biodiversity.
Right now we are managing our marine biodiversity proactively, with clear environmental targets and objectives.
Brexit might come with a reduced ambition for biodiversity targets, however, particularly if priorities shift from marine conservation to economic interests such as commercial fishing and coastal development.
In short, there is a risk that the UK’s management strategy may transition to a disaster-based method, where we only respond to environmental emergencies.
In order to protect against that, the UK needs to increase the effectiveness of its marine management by no longer treating marine environmental protection as separate from the issue of fisheries management and legislation.