Environment Bill for after Brexit

Posted on 7th January, 2019

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has published its draft Environment Bill, which sets out how the government will be held accountable on environmental principles once the UK leaves the European Union.

The draft, published in December sets out clauses on environmental principles and governance “to be included in an ambitious, broader Environment Bill set for introduction next year”.

It states that a body called the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) will be established post-Brexit, which will replace the role of the European Commission in upholding environmental targets.

According to the draft, the OEP must “have regard to the need to act objectively, impartially, proportionately and transparently”.

The draft says that the OEP must also prepare a strategy that sets out how it intends to exercise its functions, including how to prioritise cases and deal with complaints.

Alongside this, the draft says that the OEP must prepare a progress report for each annual reporting period, which outlines “progress made in improving the natural environment” in accordance with the current environmental improvement plan.