Withdrawal Agreement Bill could set a course for green divergence, critics fear

The Withdrawal Agreement Bill, presented in parliament yesterday, could lock the UK into negotiating a Canada-style free trade agreement with the EU that places less emphasis on environmental protections, observers claim.

Section 31 of the bill states that the government must present MPs with a statement on its aims for a future relationship with the EU that “must be consistent with” the political declaration signed by prime minister Boris Johnson and the European Commission. 

The declaration says both parties should commit to ‘level playing field’ provisions on the environment, with the “precise nature” of those provisions depending on the “scope and depth of the future relationship”. 

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