Speaking at an Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) hearing on Friday 11th July Environment Secretary Michael Gove has re-affirmed that environmental standards will not “slip lower” than those of the European Union (EU) post-Brexit.
Gove told MPs that the opportunity for ministers to set different standards to those enforced by the bloc would “unquestionably” lead to tougher regulations being introduced.
During the EAC session, Gove reiterated his desire to implement gold-standard policies for the environment post-Brexit, but not all members of the EAC are convinced.
The Government’s Repeal Bill pledges to preserve the whole body of EU environmental law immediately after the UK’s departure but ministers continue to question how Defra will work with other departments to strengthen or maintain regulations.
Gove said he was still collaborating cross-departmentally to “explore various means” to achieve the commitment.
There have been reports that Defra and the Treasury were “rowing” over the decision to amend the Withdrawal Bill to “give the new post-Brexit green watchdog teeth”. EDIE