The Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI) has welcomed a pledge from the Environment Minister to ensure that European environmental law continues to apply to the UK after Brexit.
Dr Thérèse Coffey MP made the commitment at the Timber Industries’ Parliamentary Reception, which took place in the House of Commons last week.
The CTI has led the campaign to ensure that EU timber regulations, which have enabled the British timber industry to thrive in recent years, are incorporated into domestic law after the UK leaves the European Union in 2019.
The CTI and its members have supported the Government in its implementation of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) and the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) initiative which prohibit the selling of illegally logged timber in the EU. This legislation has helped the British industry to grow and to be a world leader in the sustainable trade of timber.
Speaking at the reception, Dr Coffey MP said: “When we leave the EU, the Withdrawal Bill will make sure the whole body of European environmental law continues to have effect in UK law.
“This means bringing into UK law two regulations that the UK timber sector played a great role in shaping: the European Union Timber Regulation and the Forest Law Environment Governance and Trade Regulation. I want to thank your industry for your continued commitment to a responsible and sustainable trade in timber.”
Responding to her comments, David Hopkins, director of the CTI said: “I welcome the Minister’s assurance that the Government will ensure that both the EUTR and FLEGT will continue to operate in the UK after Brexit. The timber industries have worked closely with the Government to lead the development of these EU regulations, which have enabled the UK to become a global champion for responsibly-sourced timber.
“Incorporating the principles underpinning the EUTR and FLEGT into domestic law will enable the UK timber industries to continue to flourish.”
The Parliamentary Reception also gave UK timber industry stakeholders and MPs from all sides the opportunity to gather and engage in a debate about the sector’s future.
“The attendance at the CTI Parliamentary Reception was outstanding for a cold wintery night and there was no doubt about its worth to all that were there,” said CTI chairman Roy Wakeman OBE.
“Our commitment to interact with many different MPs of all persuasions was accomplished and we were grateful for all the additional support that the Industry attendance gave us. It was truly a night of trust all round and a positive thrust forward for our mission.”