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De-Europeanising or disengaging? EU environmental policy and Brexit

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Anthony Zito



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


The European Union (EU) has had a profound effect upon its members’ environmental policy. Even in the United Kingdom (UK), the EU’s most recalcitrant member state (historically famed for being the ‘Dirty man of Europe’), environmental policy has been Europeanised. As the UK moves to the EU’s exit door it is timely to assess the utility of Europeanisation for understanding policy dynamics in the UK. Drawing upon interviews and extensive engagement with stakeholders, this article analyses the potential impact of Brexit upon environmental policy and politics. An analytical toolkit offered by de-Europeanisation is developed to identify the factors that drive and inhibit de-Europeanisation processes, thereby providing insights that may be applicable in other settings. Disengagement and policy stagnation are presented as more likely environmental outcomes of Brexit, with capacity emerging as a central explanatory variable.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Burns C, Gravey V, Jordan A, Zito AR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environmental Politics

Year: 2019

Volume: 28

Issue: 2

Pages: 271-292

Online publication date: 17/01/2019

Acceptance date: 21/11/2018

Date deposited: 22/11/2018

ISSN (print): 0964-4016

ISSN (electronic): 1743-8934

Publisher: Taylor and Francis


DOI: 10.1080/09644016.2019.1549774


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Funder referenceFunder name
ESRC [ES/R00028X/1]