28 October 2020
Responding to Government amendments to the Environment Bill currently going through Parliament, Jonathan Bartley, co-leader of the Green Party of England and Wales said:
“Government's vague long-term plans to deliver environmental improvements, ‘enabling’ local authorities and ‘promoting’ resource efficiency amount to little when compared with the European law it intends to replace.
"It was clear that Brexit would weaken environmental protections and the government's proposed Office of Environmental Protection was a toothless watchdog. But the government amendments to the Environment Bill would allow the Government to basically tell the Office of Environmental Protection what to do.
"Given that the inspiration for Brexit amongst many Conservative MPs was precisely ripping up the ‘red tape’ that has protected our countryside, waterways, and natural habitats for decades, to have no route to independent legal redress would be a source of considerable concern.
"The Green Party is campaigning for a strong, independent environmental regulator with legal powers to prosecute the government for breaches of environmental law. We are supporting amendments to the Environment Bill that will create powerful environmental protections for decades to come."