Changes to environmental regulations proposed

“Increased environmental standards” promised.

Or is this an “attack on nature”?

.

The government intends to bring in a bill to replace current EU regulations – and that includes environmental laws:

The Bill is an integral step in the Prime Minister’s mission to unlock growth and will support Britain’s most entrepreneurial businesses to capitalise on the UK’s global leadership in areas like clean energy technologies, life sciences and digital services. This in turn will help to spur real-life benefits and increased living standards for the British public – from advanced healthcare treatments and faster infrastructure projects to increased environmental standards such as cleaner air.. The government has engaged, and will continue to work, with a range of organisations and stakeholders to ensure the best possible outcome when reforming retained EU law. This ensures the UK’s high standards in areas such as workers’ rights and the environment are kept, also giving the UK the opportunity to be bolder and go further than the EU in these areas…

The Bill’s introduction will build on the significant progress the government has made since delivering Brexit on 31 January 2020, which include:

  • replacing the Common Agricultural Policy – with a system in England that will enable better environmental outcomes
  • taking back control of our territorial waters – managing our fisheries and precious marine environment in a more sustainable way

UK government to set its own laws for its own people as Brexit Freedoms Bill introduced – GOV.UK

As reported in the national press:

All remaining EU laws to be scrapped or replaced by end of next year \ telegraph.co.uk (paywall)

Rees-Mogg’s red-tape bonfire threatens to spark an inferno of rights and protections – The New European

UK to drop proposed fur and foie gras import ban – POLITICO

However, the government’s specific proposals on environmental regulation have been met with general dismay:

Scrapping habitat protections would be ‘madness’, Stanley Johnson warns | News | The Times (paywall)

Growth Plan: Tories set to weaken environmental requirements for developers – edie

Brexit bonfire of environment regulations will kill otters, dolphins and birds, warn conservationists | inews.co.uk

‘Legal and environmental folly’: Is a backlash already brewing over the government’s fracking and deregulation drive? | BusinessGreen News

As reported in the Mail:

The Government has launched an “attack on nature” with its mini-budget, conservationists have warned.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), the Wildlife Trusts and the National Trust have all criticised the Government over planned policies announced on Friday. On Friday evening, RSBP England posted a lengthy Twitter thread in which it criticised the Government’s proposed 38 investment zones…
The Wildlife Trusts shared the RSPB’s thread and said: “Make no mistake – we are also incredibly angry. We stand with @RSPBEngland in calling out the unprecedented attack on nature launched by UK Government over the last few days. We’ll be challenging this together and asking for our supporters to stand with us.”

Government launched `attack on nature´ with… | Daily Mail Online

And as reported in the Guardian:

Hundreds of Britain’s environmental laws covering water quality, sewage pollution, clean air, habitat protections and the use of pesticides are lined up for removal from UK law under a government bill.

Environmentalists accused Liz Truss’s government of reneging on a commitment made after Brexit to halt the decline of nature by 2030. They say the revoking of 570 environmental laws that were rolled over from EU law after Brexit amounts to a deregulatory free-for-all leaving the environment unprotected.
Richard Benwell, the chief executive of Wildlife and Countryside Link, said scrapping the laws would be “legislative vandalism”. Rewriting them would pose an unacceptable delay to the protections the current law offered to the environment, he said.

The Conservative manifesto promised “the most ambitious environmental programme of any country on earth”.

UK environment laws under threat in ‘deregulatory free-for-all’ | Environment | The Guardian

Concerns were being voiced back in May, as reported by the Express:

Brexit news: Row at ‘coach and horses’ bid to overhaul environment law | Politics | News | Express.co.uk

   
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