No-Deal Brexit: Britain’s Contingency Waste Plan

Following the latest discussions on Brexit, concern has been made of the possibility of Britain leaving the EU without a deal on 29th March. If this comes to pass, the likelihood of waste being stockpiled will increase.

The website letsrecycle.com published a report last month in which they talked about plans by Defra to combat the disruptions that the waste exports could cause, even allowing a temporary increase of the permitted storage tonnage of some of their sites to accomplish this.

According to The Guardian, Environmental Agency have preparations for this potential increase in pollution, with 42 volunteers to staff crisis management centres being put in place to counter this increase.

However, Defra reassured the public that a no-deal Brexit won’t impact the export of already agreed upon British waste shipments to a significant degree. Defra was also said to have received agreement to roll over 98% of existing British waste exports to EU countries and had already agreed to 545 out of 556 of the current approvals.

The Agency’s contingency plan has been described as “sensible” by Suez Recycling and Recovery UK’s technical director, Stuart Hayward-Higham, when commenting on the plan.  “Currently a no-deal Brexit would mean import/export licences issued by the UK under EU waste shipment regulations would no longer be valid from the date of the UK’s departure from the EU, for the shipments of waste to the 27 remaining EU countries,” he continued. “However, regulators and companies are working through Article 17 permissions that would allow exports to continue in most circumstances.”

Higham also noted Suez has been striving towards finding solutions to the possible disruption that UK exports could cause, such as port congestion or extra paperwork, and will continue to solve what problems they can.

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