Relevant Authorities to Define Requirements of Environmental Protection

Part of New clause 1 – in the House of Commons at 5:30 pm on 27th June 1995.

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Photo of Joan Ruddock Joan Ruddock , Lewisham, Deptford 5:30 pm, 27th June 1995

I simply wish to put it on record that, yet again, the Government have said that they believe in, and seek to do all that is embodied in, the new clause, the requirement of which is extremely simple—to have on the statute book a responsibility to integrate environmental considerations into areas of public policy making.

The Opposition can have no confidence that the Government follow, or intend to follow, that path if they are not prepared to have it enshrined in statute. We know from what has happened during the passage of the Bill—we suspect that it is why the Government will not accept the new clause—that, behind the scenes, much of the Government's commitment to environmental sustainability is challenged by commercial and private interests to which they subscribe and which they seek not to offend.

We believe that environmental considerations must be at the heart of all Government policies. We regret that the Government, who are so keen on cost compliance assessments, do not believe that the same consideration that is given to private financial concerns should be given to the enhancement of the environment.