The marine environment after Brexit: the future for science and policy

9:30 – 16:30
A joint British Ecological Society and Marine Biological Association event


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The UK’s decision to leave the European Union will have a major impact on environmental policy and legislation, as well as consequences for the way scientific research is undertaken: nowhere will this be more acutely felt than in the marine environment, where international co-operation and agreement is crucial.

Over the next few years, the UK Government and devolved administrations will be addressing the issue of incorporating EU environmental law – from the Habitats Directive to the Marine Strategy Framework Directive – into domestic law. Complex issues such as what arrangements will be implemented as an alternative to the EU Common Fisheries Policy and how accountability will be maintained beyond the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) will also need to be addressed.

The UK has a long history of excellence in marine biological research and it is this that provides the evidence base for marine environmental decision making. The impacts of leaving the European Union on marine research are still unclear and a community voice on this issue is vital. How will support for international collaborative research – vital for understanding marine ecosystems – be maintained and enhanced after Brexit? How will the UK strengthen its position as a world leader in marine science?

This interactive one-day event will bring together leading scientists and other stakeholders to consider the future of marine environmental policy and marine biological research in the UK.

The event will aim to:

  • Identify the key challenges and opportunities for marine environmental policy in the UK after Brexit;
  • Highlight the role of marine biological and ecological science in addressing these challenges, including existing knowledge and future research needs;
  • Identify the priorities for enhancing the UK’s status as a world leader in marine science and maintain effective international collaboration.

The outputs of the event will inform the development of a joint British Ecological Society and Marine Biological Association policy brief. A draft brief will be provided to delegates ahead of the event, and form the basis of workshop discussions.

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Registration is available primarily on a first-come, first-served basis, but attendance will be balanced to achieve diverse representation across different disciplines.

For further information, please contact Matt Frost, Marine Biological Association, or Ben Connor, British Ecological Society