Government plans new environmental watchdog after Brexit

Written by: Jo Gallacher | Published:
The consultation will seek views on the most effective way for the new body to hold government to account

Government has launched a consultation into a new Environmental Principles and Governance Bill to make sure environmental protections will not be weakened as the UK exits the EU.

The bill will establish a body which, following consultation, could provide scrutiny and advice on environmental law and policy, respond to complaints and hold government account publicly.

Running for 12 weeks, the consultation will seek views on the most effective way for the new body to hold government to account.

Currently environmental decisions in the UK are overseen by the European Commission and its green principles including "polluter pays".

The new watchdog will replace the EU's mechanisms and will be backed by a law requiring minister to regard core environmental principles.

The consultation will look at whether these principles should be contained in the policy statement or in primary legislation.

Environment secretary Michael Gove said: “A new Environmental Principles and Governance Bill will ensure core environmental principles remain central to government policy and decision-making.

“Our Environmental Principles and Governance Bill will also create an independent and statutory watchdog. This will hold governments to account for delivering their commitments to the natural world.”

The bill will be published in draft in the autumn where it will then go through a period of public consultation.


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