08 JUN 2018
Brexit and the Environment
Thank you for taking the time to email me about the future of the environment post Brexit.
I understand your concern on this matter and I have signed the following amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill on this topic:
"Maintenance of environmental principles etc.
(1) The Secretary of State must, within the period of six months beginning with the day on which this Act is passed, publish a draft Bill consisting of—
(a) a set of environmental principles,
(b) a duty on the Secretary of State to publish a statement of policy in relation to the application and interpretation of those principles in connection with the making and development of policies by Ministers of the Crown,
(c) a duty which ensures that Ministers of the Crown must have regard, in circumstances provided for by or under the Bill, to the statement mentioned in paragraph (b),
(d) provisions for the establishment of a public authority with functions for taking, in circumstances provided for by or under the Bill, proportionate enforcement action (including legal proceedings if necessary) where the authority considers that a Minister of the Crown is not complying with environmental law (as it is defined in the Bill),
(e) such other provisions as the Secretary of State considers appropriate.
(2) The set of environmental principles mentioned in subsection (1)(a) must (however worded) consist of—
(a) the precautionary principle so far as relating to the environment,
(b) the principle of preventative action to avert environmental damage,
(c) the principle that environmental damage should as a priority be rectified at source,
(d) the polluter pays principle,
(e) the principle of sustainable development,
(f) the principle that environmental protection requirements must be integrated into the definition and implementation of policies and activities,
(g) public access to environmental information,
(h) public participation in environmental decision-making, and
(i) access to justice in relation to environmental matters."
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