The UK Withdrawal from the EU (Continuity) (Scotland) Act 2021 requires government ministers and other public authorities to ensure they pay due regard to the five guiding principles on the environment. These principles sit alongside Scotland’s arrangements for environmental governance, including the establishment of Environmental Standards Scotland and the publication of an environment strategy.
The five guiding principles as set out in the Act are the:
- principle that protecting the environment should be integrated into the making of policies
- precautionary principle as it relates to the environment
- principle that preventative action should be taken to avert environmental damage
- principle that environmental damage should as a priority be rectified at source
- principle that the polluter should pay
The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on draft guidance that has been developed to serve as a practical guide to support public authorities and ministers to implement these legislative duties. The consultation paper is available on the Scottish Government website, and participants can fill in the online form to give their views. The consultation closes on 8 February 2022.