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Examination of Witnesses

Part of Environment Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:17 pm on 12th March 2020.

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Ian Hepburn:

The problem is that we do not see non-regression. The way could be up or down, given the way the Bill’s provisions are set out. There is nothing to stop the Secretary of State from changing the substances listed or the standards for those substances in the same way that there would have been had we been part of the EU and, alternatively, had we had a non-regression clause within the withdrawal Act. Again, that has gone. As my colleagues have made clear in earlier sessions, we consider that clauses 19 and 20 do not amount to non-regression obligations. That is the risk that we see. We think that some amendments to clause 81 could soften the impact of the risk and of going in the wrong direction.