COMMONS

Evidence from Treasury on new environmental watchdog requested

30 May 2018

The Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee has written a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer requesting that he or another Minister gives evidence for the Committee's inquiry into the proposal for a new environmental watchdog.

The Government recently published a consultation on a new environmental protection body which intends to "hold government to account on environmental ambitions and obligations once we have left the EU." The Environmental Audit Committee has launched an inquiry into the Government's proposals.

Reports in the media suggest that the Treasury is opposed to giving the new watchdog similar enforcement mechanisms as the European Commission, leading some environmental campaigners to express concern that the watchdog will be "toothless". However, the Government has promised that leaving the EU will not lead to a weakening of environmental standards.

The Committee has called on the Treasury to send a Minister to outline the department's stance on environmental enforcement powers and to explain how the watchdog will ensure that the environmental protection standards previously enforced by the European Commission are met.

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