Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Examination of Witnesses

Part of Environment Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:47 pm on 12th March 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Lloyd Austin:

From my point of view, the varying extent of different parts of the Bill is appropriate, because it tends to reflect the arrangements that have been agreed between the Scottish Government and the UK Government. For instance, the deposit return scheme does not apply to Scotland, and that is because they have already got their provisions in place. Those other areas, such as extended producer responsibilities, are included and, as the Minister said earlier, they have opted in. I think the different extent is a consequence of developments to date; it reflects those developments.

The biggest gap is the issue of reserved areas, or the application of EU environmental principles to decisions by UK Ministers relating to reserved matters in Scotland and Wales. Those are excluded from the Bill, and it is a gap. It may be—as stakeholders, we do not know—that the Governments have agreed to legislate for that in some other way, through Scottish legislation or subsequent Welsh legislation. However, because we have not seen that, we do not know, and there has been no statement to that effect. As far as observers are aware, that gap still remains. It may be filled by an amendment to the Bill, or by Scottish legislation with the agreement of UK Ministers or whatever—we do not know—but we want to keep highlighting that it is a gap that does need to be filled.