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Beaches: Standards

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 6th February 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Suttie Baroness Suttie Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Northern Ireland)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to maintain the current standards of cleanliness on UK beaches after Brexit; and, in particular, whether they intend to maintain the standards set out in the EU's Bathing Water and Water Framework Directives.

Photo of Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park The Minister of State, Department for International Development, The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Leaving the EU does not change the UK’s ambition on the environment; the Government has no intention of weakening our current environmental protections now that we have left the EU. The UK has a long history of environmental protection, supported by a strong legal framework which predates our membership of the EU, and we will safeguard and improve on this record.

The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 will ensure that the body of existing EU environmental law, including our Water Framework Directive regulations and the Bathing Water Regulations, continues to have effect in UK law now that we have left the EU.

Local authorities’ existing statutory duties to remove litter and refuse from beaches above the high-water mark are unaffected by our departure from the EU. The statutory Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse sets out the standards that local authorities are expected to achieve in doing so.

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