Michael Gove has announced plans for a new, independent regulatory body for environmental standards.
In an article written for the Sunday Telegraph, Environment Secretary Michael Gove said that the statutory body will oversee standards in England once the UK has left the European Union. A consultation will be launched early next year on the specific functions, powers and remit of the new body.
All existing environmental laws, together with any targets set out in EU legislation such as the Waste Framework, Producer Responsibility or Landfill Directives will be retained when the UK leaves the EU. MPs are today starting the debate on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, which will copy across EU rules into domestic UK law.
In a bid by the UK Government to deliver a Green Brexit, where environmental standards are not only maintained but enhanced, Gove says that we must use our EU exit to aim even higher than the environmental gains secured by the EU.
In his article Gove writes: “We have the chance to set the gold standard for environmental science and become a home to centres of environmental excellence. A new independent statutory body and a strong statement of principles will ensure that outside the EU, we become the world-leading curator of the most precious asset of all: our planet.”
Ministers will consult on a new independent, statutory body to advise and challenge government on environmental legislation – “stepping in when needed to hold these bodies to account and enforce standards”, as well as explore the scope and content of a new policy statement to ensure environmental principles underpin policy making. The government has yet to indicate how the new body would work with existing regulating authorities, the Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and Northern Ireland Environment Agency.
Keeping you informed
We will continue to keep all of our WEEE compliance and packaging compliance members, clients and partners informed of changes as the EU exit negotiations progress. If you are a WEEE or packaging compliance member and have any questions about the impact of the UK’s departure from the EU, please get in touch with a member of our team on 0845 129 7177.