1.6 History of the UK site selection process

1.6.1 The role of Government

Until 1999, overall Governmental responsibility for implementing the Habitats Directive and approving the UK SAC list rested with DoE/DETR. Since 1999, devolution has altered the political landscape of the UK. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, implementation of the Habitats Directive (including the selection of SACs) is now a devolved matter for each of the country administrations (the Scottish Executive, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Northern Ireland Executive); Defra (formerly DETR) is responsible for implementation of the Directive in England. Ultimately, relations with the European Union and obligations arising out of the Treaties remain the responsibility of the UK Government.