The Environmental Audit Committee has published the Government’s response to the committee’s recommendations for the 25-Year Plan for the Environment.
In its response, the Government does not commit to replace the one third of EU environmental legislation that cannot be copied and pasted into UK law through the EU (Withdrawal Act), does not give confirmation that the proposed green watchdog would have the appropriate power to hold all public bodies to account or give details of future support for the environment.
The CLA which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses reacted by stressing the importance of retaining high environmental standards post-Brexit.
CLA Director of Policy and Advice Christopher Price said: “The UK has some of the highest environmental standards and principles in the world which land managers are rightly proud of. It is vital these are transferred into domestic law to ensure they are maintained and adequately funded through Brexit and beyond.
“We support the EAC’s calls for improved environmental ambition but that comes at a cost. The Government must provide assurance before we leave the EU that there will be sufficient budget to support the farmers and landowners who will be delivering this ambition.
“The proposed green watchdog must have the power to scrutinise and penalise the Government sufficiently so that environmental targets are met. However, we have concerns that it could mean significant cost, complexity and bureaucracy which would damage the better delivery of environmental policy by focussing on process instead of achieving outcomes.”
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