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Nature Conservation

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 15th October 2012.

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Photo of Zac Goldsmith Zac Goldsmith Conservative, Richmond Park

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his policy is on the European Commission legislative proposal on invasive alien species.

Photo of Richard Benyon Richard Benyon The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We are expecting the European Commission to publish its proposed EU directive on invasive alien species later this year. Until its publication, we will not know its precise content. However, given the serious ecological, environmental and economic impacts that invasive alien species are causing, and their potential to spread across the EU naturally or via the single market, member states' Governments have repeatedly called on the Commission to develop a strategy that would create a stronger framework for collective action in the EU to tackle this issue.

Proposals for a new EU Strategy on Invasive Alien Species have been in development for some considerable time. The UK's objective has been, and will continue to be, to ensure that what results is helpful, justified, practical and proportionate.

As well as the proposal itself, the Commission is required to produce an accompanying impact assessment. We will of course be scrutinising this to ensure it is rigorous and comprehensive.

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