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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:

Again, this is a really important question. From our engagement with businesses across the piece—our members have many contacts with all sorts of businesses—we do not detect that business is opposed to such measures in any way. Of course businesses want to know the detail and the nature of the measures and any particular mechanisms that are proposed. The easiest way to do that is to set out a policy proposition and then consult on it. We would encourage the Government to do that as quickly as possible. That consultation can be done at the same time as the passage of the Bill. That is not unheard of. Certainly, we would want to see that. I worked on the Modern Slavery Act 2015, which did a similar thing in relation to a transparency-in-supply-chains requirement. That was done with the consent and help of businesses.

Finally, there is a group called the Global Resource Initiative, which is a taskforce that has been looking at the questions that we have been talking about. We hope that it will publish its report while the Bill is still live. If it does, we would encourage you to look at those recommendations as well.