I have been contacted recently by a number of constituents about the UK’s environmental standards post-Brexit and I wanted to write about this topic to provide you with some additional information.
I have always been clear on the need to ensure that our environment is protected after we leave the EU.
Our exit from the EU provides us with the opportunity to legislate independently, enabling us to have higher environmental standards than we currently receive as members of the EU. There's no intention of weakening them - instead, outside the EU we can do even better and smarter.
A consultation was launched on environmental principles and governance earlier this year and it proposed a new Environmental Principles and Governance Bill to ensure that environmental principles are embedded into UK law.
The Government also proposed in its consultation the establishment of an environmental watchdog that should meet the following objectives:
• Act as a strong, objective, impartial and well-evidenced voice for environmental protection and enhancement;
• be independent of government and capable of holding it to account;
• be established on a durable, statutory basis;
• have a clear remit, avoiding overlap with other bodies;
• have the powers, functions, and resources required to deliver that remit and;
• operate in a clear, proportionate and transparent way in the public interest, recognising that it is necessary to balance environmental protection against other priorities.
Our natural environment is perhaps our most precious inheritance and to protect this, the Government has outlined its 25 Year Environmental Plan. This plan sets out a comprehensive and long-term approach to protecting and enhancing our natural environment in England for the next generation. Its goals are simple: cleaner air and water; plants and animals; and a cleaner, greener country for us all.
You can find the full details of the Government’s 25 Year Environmental Plan at the below web address.
As set out in the 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment, the decision to leave the European Union has created a historic opportunity to deliver a Green Brexit and as your constituency MP, my stance is that I support the Government’s 25-year plan and measures to improve the environmental protections post-Brexit.
We are fortunate that Norfolk has some of the UK’s most unique countryside. I will continue my work in Parliament to support measures ensuring that our environmental standards remain high and help the Government deliver a truly Green Brexit, leaving the environment in a better state for the next generation.