UK to set up environmental watchdog to deliver ‘green’ Brexit

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has set out plans to establish an independent watchdog to deliver a “green” Brexit. The new body is expected to advise and challenge government and potentially […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has set out plans to establish an independent watchdog to deliver a “green” Brexit.

The new body is expected to advise and challenge government and potentially other public bodies on environmental legislation in England after the UK leaves the EU.

It would step in when needed to hold those bodies to account and enforce standards.

Currently, environmental decisions made in the UK – from improving water and air quality to protecting endangered species – are overseen by the European Commission, which monitors targets, scrutinises new legislation and takes action against illegal behaviour.

Mr Gove said: “We will deliver a green Brexit, where environmental standards are not only maintained but enhanced.

“Today we are setting out our plans to ensure the powerful are held to account. We will consult on creating an independent body – encouraging transparency and preventing careless or irresponsible behaviour damaging our natural environment.”

A consultation on the specific powers and scope of the new body will be launched early next year. One of the key questions which will be explored is whether Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland wish to take a similar or different approach.