We anglers have all known for a long time about the sorry state of our rivers not meeting EU standards and rules for clean waterways but when we leave the EU our government, of which ever persuasion, will have to make a new set of U K rules. You can bet that they will be well watered down (no pun intended) of existing rules.
The E U rules are based upon regular checks of water quality from a cross section of our U K rivers but they only check for certain materials and specific chemicals on the official list. And it has been getting worse. Nowadays our rivers contain so many other harmful chemicals that were never on the list and were never officially measured.
The E A have always been aware that they were never going to reach the EU target for ‘good’ (not ‘ excellent’ ) by 2027, and so have just announced a new and lesser targets for water quality. But these are almost certainly still unachievable.
So without any fines from the E U hanging over the heads of the E A, and less money to play with, and some changed priorities, our rivers are inevitably going to suffer even more in the future.