We continue to have regular conversations with ministerial colleagues across the Government on all aspects of exiting the European Union, including environmental policy. The UK has a long history of environmental protection, and the Government have been clear that they have no intention of weakening our current environmental protections as we leave the European Union.
I visited one of my local schools a few weeks ago, and the young people there are very worried about plastic use. This Government are unambitiously pledging to eliminate avoidable plastic waste significantly later than the EU target. Does the Minister agree with me and with the children at the Lincoln Carlton Academy that, with climate change posing an immediate threat, Britain’s environmental protections must not be downgraded after we leave the EU?
Yes, and we would not be doing that. In fact, the Prime Minister has announced that a new environment Bill will be introduced in the second Session to build on the vision we have set out in our 25-year environment plan to leave our precious environment in a better state than the one we inherited. It will help us to create richer habitats for wildlife, improve air and water quality and curb the scourge of plastic in the world’s oceans.
I thank the excellent Back Bencher—my neighbour—for his question. I obviously believe that this Parliament is better placed to do that.
Yesterday’s National Audit Office report on the lack of no-deal preparations lists a whole raft of serious issues facing our country in the eventuality of no deal, particularly on environmental standards, where it points to a collapse of our biosecurity standards. What is the Minister’s response to this, given that the Secretary of State said a moment ago that he was looking at all scenarios? Frankly, that is not good enough, so what will he and his Department do to ensure that we are adequately prepared?
I hope that the hon. Lady will forgive me, but I just do not read the NAO report in the same way that she does. We are obviously preparing for a no deal. We have regular meetings to ensure that we will hit all our targets, and I am confident that we will do so.