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air pollution judgment could cause EU/UK shake-up

4 March 2013

A Supreme Court case this week, dubbed one of the most important so far this century, could potentially decide who controls British environmental legislation. The case pits the European Commission against the national courts as to whether the Commission has sole responsibility when there is a breach of legislation originating from Brussels or whether the national courts have a role to play.

The case centres around the issue of air pollution. Air pollution has for a long time been regulated from Brussels, however a number of governments have failed to implement EU directives or meet targets. The Government intends to water down EU environmental legislation which David Cameron has said has ‘gone too far’.

This case could be dangerous for our environment, an area where the UK population largely in fact approve of EU intervention, and to uphold the principle that enforcement should be left to the EU alone could have significant consequences for both our environment and the health of all Britons.

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