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Who will uphold environmental law after Brexit?

06 February 2019

The EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee invites a roundtable of experts to explore how EU mechanisms to ensure compliance with environmental obligations will be replaced after Brexit.

Witnesses

Wednesday 6 February in Committee Room 2, Palace of Westminster
At 10:30am

  • Martin Baxter, member of the Broadway Initiative's project board
  • Professor Charlotte Burns, co-chair of the Brexit and Environment Network
  • Ruth Chambers, senior parliamentary affairs associate at Green Alliance
  • Begonia Filgueira, the UK Environmental Law Association's Brexit Task Force Co-Chair
  • Professor Richard Macrory, Emeritus Professor of Environmental Law at University College London
  • Debbie Tripley, legal advisor at WWF
  • Tom West, UK Environment Lead at ClientEarth.

Areas of discussion

The Sub-Committee's previous inquiry found that the ability of European Commission, and the Court of Justice of the European Union, to hold Member States to account (through their power to take infraction proceedings and levy fines for non-compliance) helps ensure the UK's compliance with EU law. Members will use this session to explore whether the proposals in the Government’s draft Environment (Principles and Governance) Bill, published in December 2018, to establish an Office for Environmental Protection, are sufficient to ensure that Brexit does not result in a reduction in environmental protection.

Specific issues that may be raised include:

  • Whether the proposed Office of Environmental Protection (OEP) is sufficiently independent.
  • Whether it has the powers it will need to hold the Government to account. 
  • Whether it should have a UK-wide remit? 
  • Whether its proposed remit should be extended to include legislation aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • What changes would need to enable the OEP to enforce any ‘non-regression’ clause that might be agreed as part of a Withdrawal Agreement.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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