The level of uncertainty and confusion in the aftermath of the vote to leave the European Union means that it is impossible to fully understand the consequences, both short and longer term, for landscape and the landscape profession. Despite this uncertainty, it is still the case that current EU legislation on habitats, birds, clean water, and environmental impact assessment have been transposed into UK law and will remain so until a future UK parliament decides otherwise. That will not change for at least two years after article 50 is activated by the UK government.
The UK remains a member of the EU so members are still entitled to work and bid for contracts in the EU and for EU citizens to work here. The LI’s mission remains the same – to promote the landscape profession for the benefit of society and the natural and built environment. We will continue to pursue this goal, so we will be working with members to help ensure future policy and advocacy activity take account of the new reality we face.
We will also work with other organisations and professional bodies with whom we have common cause to ensure that issues concerning landscape and the profession are not forgotten in future negotiations. Although the consequences are uncertain, with a new PM and the lead ministers now appointed for exit negotiations, the situation may become clearer by the end of 2016. As it stands we can offer the following advice.
The UK is a full member of the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) and adopts their standards as UK national standards. Once the UK leaves the European Union, UK organisations will still be subject to European Standards, in the same way as other non-EU members of CEN. The British Standards Institution (BSI) will still be a voting member of CEN, like European Free Trade Association (EFTA) members, and there is no suggestion this will change. However leaving the EU will mean the UK won’t be party to any discussions between CEN on the specific needs of the EU in relation to a given standard, nor to the discussions about mandates or decisions about harmonised standards.
EU Recognition of Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses
The LI is a leading member of the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA World), of which ILFA Europe is an integral part. A condition of IFLA Europe membership is the mutual recognition of accredited academic qualifications across the European region of IFLA [see para 8.10 of http://iflaeurope.eu/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2014/01/2015-IFLA-Europe-Regulations.pdf}
This means that LI-accredited academic qualifications are recognised by IFLA Europe members, and academic qualifications accredited by IFLA Europe members are recognised by the LI. This recognition will continue regardless of BREXIT, and graduates of LI-accredited courses will continue to have a valued, portable qualification. There will be no immediate change to the UK university sector’s ability to participate in EU research and innovation programmes.
However, the long term future of UK participation in European science programmes will be decided as part of the UK’s exit negotiations. For further information on the university sectors’ response to BREXIT please visit Universities UK.
Chartered Membership of the LI and the Pathway to Chartership
The LI is a globally recognised professional body supporting its Members across 45 countries. We will continue to build on our growing international membership. EU nationals, whether based in the UK or elsewhere, will continue to be eligible to join the LI as a Licentiate Member if they hold an academic qualification recognised through IFLA Europe. They can then join the Pathway to Chartership, the LI’s online learning platform, and progress towards the chartership exam. This will not be affected by BREXIT.
The LI will continue to recognise the chartered status (and equivalent) of EU nationals as defined in the EU Professional Qualifications Directive 2005/36/EC . The UK Government’s position on the EU directive post-BREXIT is not yet known, and the LI will engage in any consultations organised by the UK government.
The LI will continue to promote UK landscape architecture internationally, and will continue to encourage applications for membership from professionals based internationally. Chartered membership of the LI will continue to be a highly valued and portable professional qualification.
International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) Europe
The LI is a leading member of both IFLA Europe and IFLA World, and we are proud to be hosting the IFLA Conference in 2018. We will continue to support IFLA in homogenising professional standards between member countries.
Due to the political and economic uncertainty caused by BREXIT, it is an uncertain time for all UK businesses with potential funding being lost or temporarily frozen as a precautionary measure. The LI recognises that some practices are experiencing serious changes or delays to projects.