Nature Conservation: EU Law

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 31st October 2022.

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Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make it his policy to retain the nature protections contained within the EU Habitats Directive in UK law beyond December 2023; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Trudy Harrison Trudy Harrison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We have been clear about the importance of environmental protection across the United Kingdom, not least through our world leading Environment Act, which includes a legally binding target to halt the decline of nature by 2030. We are committed to meeting this target and will not undermine our obligations to the environment in pursuit of growth.

Earlier this year we published a Nature Recovery Green Paper, setting out proposals to reform our system of protections, including the Habitats Regulations. The Nature Recovery Green Paper consultation closed in May and we are now in the process of analysing responses with our response to be published in due course.

My department is carefully considering the scope of the delegated powers in the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill, and whether they can be used to deliver a better, bespoke British system of nature protections to replace the provisions in the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (as amended).

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