EU Exit and European Protected Species

European Protected Species protection may be affected by the EU Exit, but only where there is a change of secondary legislation.


The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (the EUWA) will end the supremacy of EU law in UK law, will convert directly applicable EU legislation (in particular, EU Regulations and Decisions) as it stands at the moment of exit into domestic law, and will preserve legislation previously made in the UK to implement EU obligations.

In some cases there may be changes in referencing and guidance as a result of secondary legislation amendments. Changes may move at pace and it may not be possible to update all processes immediately. Where reference to specific legislation is made the reader should check to ensure referencing is consistent with any subsequent legislation amendments. Further information can be found at:

European Protected Species

European Protected Species that may be encountered during development include (but is not a complete list) all bat species, great crested (or warty) newt, European otter, smooth snake, common (or hazel) dormouse, large blue butterfly. These species are fully protected under legislation within England and Wales under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017, which is derived from Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (also known as the ‘Habitats Directive’). Therefore, the Conservation Regulations (and hence protection for European Protected Species) as well as other European derived legislation, will continue to apply unless or until it is changed by Parliament.