Minister: “We will maintain our proud record on environmental science and conservation after leaving the EU”

Government Minister Robin Walker visited the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) today to hear the views of scientific, conservation and wildlife charities on the opportunities and challenges of Brexit for environmental science and conservation.

With some of the best minds from the sector around the table, the minister used the discussion as a platform to hear their views on topics such as funding for research and innovation, continent-wide collaborative programmes, talent recruitment in the science community and the importance of maintaining international environmental standards.

A new regulatory framework for environment and science, tailored to the needs of the country, was also discussed. This will aim to have a permanent impact in making Britain a cleaner, greener and healthier place to live and work; not just today, but for the generations to come.

This builds on the Government’s commitment to help further UK research and innovation in environmental science outside the EU and to support UK science to optimise the benefits of international collaborations on environmental challenges.

Minister for Exiting the European Union, Robin Walker said:

"I am determined that the UK will maintain our proud record on environmental science and conservation after leaving the EU.

"This Government is fully committed to supporting our world-class scientific community and has committed an extra £2bn funding for research and innovation to ensure we continue to attract the brightest minds to the UK as we exit the EU.

"We will use the unique opportunity exiting the EU affords to design the most effective framework in the UK for driving environmental improvement - delivering on our goal to put Britain at the vanguard of tackling global environmental challenges, from conservation to climate change."

Nathalie Pettorelli, Research Fellow at the Zoological Society of London said:

"The Zoological Society of London is renowned for its science and conservation work worldwide, and wants the UK to remain a global leader in environmental research and management post-Brexit.

"Together with our partners - the Campaign for Science and Engineering, the Royal Society of Biology, the British Ecological Society and the Wildlife Countryside Link - we are delighted to have the opportunity to highlight the challenges and opportunities we believe Brexit creates for environmental research and conservation to the Minister.

"We want the Government and public to know that the UK’s environmental science and conservation community is ready and willing to help shape our future post-Brexit."

The government is building a national consensus on the approach to the negotiations and and the UK’s future relationship with the EU by engaging with business leaders and key stakeholders both through roundtables and regional visits.

The following charities were present at the roundtable.

• Zoological Society of London
• Campaign for Science and Engineering
• British Ecological Society
• Royal Society of Biology Wildlife and Countryside Link