Michael Gove plans new environmental body to deliver 'Green Brexit'

A new environmental body which would ensure the UK “sets the gold standard for environmental science” is being planned by the government once Britain leaves the European Union.

Environment secretary Michael Gove has issued a statement on how the UK would "hold the powerful to account" in a bid to protect land, water, air and wildlife. It follows concerns that many environmental regulations in European law could be watered down once Britain leaves the EU. Gove says the government will create a new policy statement setting out the environmental principles which will guide future decisions. 

The consultation on both the new environmental body will be launched by early next year. It will focus on answering exactly what functions and powers the new body has and whether Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland wish to take a different or similar approach. Gove has also quashed suggestions that environmental standards would be sacrificed as part of a potential US free trade deal.

Commenting on the plans, the environment secretary said: “Nothing can be more vital than the future of our environment and the natural world. We are their custodians and we must safeguard their future if our ambition for a green Brexit is to become a reality. We have the chance to set the gold standard for environmental science and become a home to centres of environmental excellence. A new independent, statutory body and a strong statement of principles will ensure that outside the EU, we become the world-leading curator of the most precious asset of all: our planet.”

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