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Examination of Witnesses

Part of Environment Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:30 pm on 10th March 2020.

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Ruth Chambers:

Can I add one thing to that? Again, this is a vital issue. If we take a step back and think about the journey of this Bill, it has been on a journey, and we have been on a journey with it. Its existence came from draft provisions from the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, which were intended to close the environmental governance gap I have already talked about that arose as a result of EU exit. Then the Government took a very welcome step and decided to take the opportunity to enshrine domestic ambition in law through the Environment Bill, which came out in October and was re-published in January. This is the missing piece of that trilogy.

We totally understand that the Bill has been on a fast track—rightly, because nature’s decline cannot wait a moment longer. We understand why it has not been possible until this point in time to include measures in the Bill, but we hope the Government will do all they can to ensure these important issues are addressed, whether substantively or by using the Bill as a very important springboard ahead of the international summit later this year.