Environmental protection after EU exit

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:30 pm on 17th January 2018.

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‘(1) Before any exit day, the Secretary of State must publish a report detailing all EU environmental protections, powers and functions.

(2) The report pursuant to subsection (1) shall specify—

(a) all environmental legal protections which derive from EU law;

(b) the powers and functions relating to environmental protection or improvement exercised by EU institutions;

(c) the empowering provisions in EU law relating to those functions; and

(d) any loss of environmental protection, or the monitoring and enforcement of environmental protections, which may arise as a result of the UK’s exit from the EU.

(3) Before any exit day the Secretary of State must publish proposals for primary legislation (the “Draft Environmental Protection Bill”).

(4) The Draft Environmental Protection Bill must include provisions which would—

(a) ensure that the level of environmental protection provided by EU law on the day this Act receives Royal Assent is maintained or enhanced;

(b) make provision to remedy any loss of environmental protection, or the monitoring and enforcement of environmental protections, established in the report pursuant to subsection (1);

(c) create a statutory corporation (to be called “the Environmental Protection Agency”) with operational independence from Ministers of the Crown to monitor environmental targets previously set by EU law relating to environmental protection and other such environmental targets that may be set by Ministers of the Crown and international treaties to which the United Kingdom is party;

(d) require the statutory corporation in (4)(c) to report to Parliament every year on progress in meeting those targets and to make recommendations for remedial action where appropriate;

(e) allow the statutory corporation in (4)(c) to publish additional reports identifying action or omissions on the part of Ministers of the Crown that is likely to result in targets not being met; and

(f) extend to the whole of the United Kingdom.

(5) The Secretary of State must publish annual reports to Parliament on how environmental protections and the monitoring and enforcement of environmental protections have been affected by the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU.

(6) Before publishing a report pursuant to subsection (5) the Secretary of State must hold a public consultation on the effect of leaving the EU on environmental protection.

(7) The Secretary of State must publish and lay before each House of Parliament the first report pursuant to subsection (5) no later 29 March 2020 and each subsequent report must be published no later than the period of one year after the publication of the previous report.”—(Mary Creagh.)

This new clause would require the Secretary of State to produce a report on the loss of environmental protection as a result of the UK’s exit from the EU, and to prepare an Environmental Protection Bill to make up for any loss of environmental protections, and the monitoring and enforcement of environmental protections. It would also require the Secretary of State to produce annual reports which make an assessment of the impact of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on UK environmental protection.

Brought up.

Question put, That the clause be added to the Bill.

The House divided:

Ayes 301, Noes 318.

Division number 99

See full list of votes (From The Public Whip)

Aye

No

Question accordingly negatived.

New Clause 17