Accordingly, while on the one hand there will be concerns that firm government policy on the environment may not emerge quickly, there will be a longer-term benefit to larger businesses in the waste and recycling sector with the knowledge that producer responsibility measures and recycling targets will remain, and are likely to increase.
A large Conservative victory could have meant that the option of a hard Brexit remained on the table or that Prime Minister Theresa May’s “no deal is better than a bad deal” option would remain a possibility. Instead an expected Conservative/DUP government is likely to mean a softer approach to the negotiations.
Now a position of advantage in the negotiations could be seen as passing to the European Union itself and chief negotiator Michel Barnier. Consequently discussions are set to focus on the single market and freedom of movement and, with the UK having weaker bargaining strength, there would be more certainty that other laws – such as the Landfill Directive – will be transposed in their entirety.
This would confirm a form of commitment given by former waste and recycling minister Therese Coffey. She indicated that the environmental legislation would be transposed into a Great Repeal Bill. However, had a harder Brexit approach been an option for a new Conservative government then this commitment could well have been watered down.
First reactions to the election result from the waste sector came from David Palmer-Jones, chief executive of Suez (formerly Sita UK). Suez is based in Maidenhead and the company is a significant employer within the Prime Minister’s constituency.
He said: “We are prepared to work with a Government of any colour or coalition to ensure waste is treated as a resource for both secondary raw materials and energy but for the UK economy to prosper, we must quickly continue in the same positive direction started earlier this year, and not leave to languish the policies that could unlock the investment and support the resource management industry has to offer.”
At a breakfast briefing this morning on the impact of the election result, HSBC bank’s head of economics, Mark Berrisford-Smith, said that he felt that the economic backdrop in the UK “remained ok, but there were distributional issues” and that while there had been a modest slowdown in the economy “this would probably abate now”.
On the currency front, which is important in terms of the export of recyclables, Mr Berrisford-Smith predicted that “it was not beyond the bounds of possiblity that sterling could hold up fairly well as markets have favoured a soft Brexit”.
Also speaking at the briefing, Alex Woollcombe, former advisor to David Cameron and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, suggested that Prime Minister Theresa May had erred in calling the election and remarked: “Being an effective minister doesn’t make you a good leader”.
And, he added that he thought that there had been a “bit of a backlash on austerity” and suggested that Britain would not achieve a hard Brexit as Article 50 had to be completed in 2019 which meant the EU had a lot of “wriggle room to keep a tight control on the negotiations”.
article courtesy of www.letsrecycle.com
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