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Office for Environmental Protection - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:06 pm on 22nd May 2019.

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Photo of Lord Gardiner of Kimble Lord Gardiner of Kimble The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 3:06 pm, 22nd May 2019

My Lords, I reply in the same vein to the noble Lord. We found the responses of the three committees very helpful. Referring to Clause 12(1) of the draft Bill, I can say that the OEP will set its own work plan independently of government. It is absolutely clear that this body must be independent from Defra. Ministers cannot set its programme of activity or improperly influence its decision-making, and it will be accountable to Parliament. The absolute intention of this is to ensure we have an independent body so that we can all be confident we are enhancing the environment.