Withdrawal Agreement Non Regression
Article 2 non-compliance obligations are excluded from the arbitration process under the PV dispute resolution mechanism. This means that there can be no sanctions for non-compliance. However, the control and enforcement obligations under Article 3 are applicable. As noted above, it is likely that this uneven approach will prove more feasible in some respects, since the unsuitable non-regression requirement set out in Article 2 would have been difficult to implement in practice. Assessing an equivalent level of protection for divergent, complex and process-based regulations would be complex, while reviewing effective enforcement would be easier.  In July 2018, the United Kingdom applied for an applicable non-regression requirement; “UK-EU partnership framework: open and fair competition, assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/734935/2018-08-17_F_O_Competition_Slides_FINAL.pdf; In a speech on 18 April 2018, Barnier said the non-regression requirements imposed by the UK and the EU would go beyond the EU-wide trade agreements: europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-18-3162_en.htm These risks are likely higher than under the May deal. Without amendment and assuming that future relations will not be settled before the end of the transitional period, the new agreement provides for a more distant standard relationship between the EU and the UK. This contrasts with the British customs union and the environmental provisions associated with it in the May agreement, which would have a relatively close rapprochement between the two agreements until future relations have been decided. In other words, restrictions on the UK`s derogation from EU environmental legislation would be considerably relaxed (depending on the type of level playing field contained in a free trade agreement between the EU and the UK). The environmental obligations under the protocol allow for significant discrepancies between UK and EU environmental legislation, but require the UK to ensure effective monitoring and enforcement.
It is therefore an intermediate step between full alignment with EU environmental legislation, the approach adopted, for example, in the Association Agreement with Ukraine and the EEA Agreement, and the non-regression requirements that the EU currently has in its broader trade agreements with countries such as Canada and Korea. These commitments show that the EU views the guarantee of effective environmental protection in the UK as an important strategic objective of its overall trade relationship with the UK. Because environmental regulation entails costs, governments are encouraged to give their industries a competitive advantage by lowering their standards.