Environment Minister to “make sure the whole body of European environmental law continues to have effect” after Brexit

14 February 2018

The Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI) has welcomed a pledge from Environment Minister Dr Thérèse Coffey MP to “make sure the whole body of European environmental law continues to have effect” after Brexit.

The Environment Minister 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 been proud to support the Government in its implementation of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) and the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) initiative. These EU regulations prohibit the selling of illegally logged timber in the EU, including within the UK. This legislation has helped the British industry to grow and to be a world leader in the sustainable trade of timber.

Speaking at the CTI reception, Environment Minister Dr Thérèse 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.”

Iain McIlwee, CEO of the British Woodworking Federation also commented:

"We welcome the Comments by Dr Coffey on the “fantastic contribution our industry makes to the UK economy”.  We also heard from Ian Paisley MP how the APPG group is poised to work with an industry they can trust to help us to deliver for all. There is an awakening at all levels that the timber industry has a critical role to play in helping the UK to meet our health, climate change and economic targets.  We have a strong heritage, but there is now recognition that this doesn’t mean old-fashioned industry.  It is so encouraging to see the industry finding our collective voice through the CTI and to hear this recognised so clearly at a Ministerial level."  

The Parliamentary Reception also represented an excellent opportunity for UK Timber Industry stakeholders and MPs from all sides to gather and engage in a productive debate about the future of the Sector.

On that note, CTI Chairman Roy Wakeman OBE said: “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.”

“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.”

The complete speech by Environment Minister Dr Thérèse Coffey MP can be found here.

View the photo gallery of the event here.

How does BWF work through the CTI?

The Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI) is an umbrella organisation, representing the UK's Timber supply chain from forest to end of life recycling. CTI’s mission is to speak as a single voice for the whole Industry promoting the use of timber in the UK and abroad.

The BWF is one of the major trade associations drivers behind the CTI and has been working hard to raise the profile of the woodworking sector and highlight how our industry supports the construction economy and delivers maximum results with minimum environmental impact.

Through the CTI we have developed a manifesto for timber that focusses on key policy areas such as sustainability, jobs, skills and housing - this manifesto is an important documents to engaging with politicians and stakeholders. Here you can read the CTI response to the recent White Paper: Fixing our Broken Housing Market highlighting the vital role timber has in delivering sustainable and quality homes at the levels required to meet the housing shortfall in the UK.

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