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Environmental enforcement body to be set up in UK after Brexit
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Environmental enforcement body to be set up in UK after Brexit

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The UK will have higher environmental standards than the EU after Brexit, Defra Secretary Michael Gove has said.
The UK will have higher environmental standards than the EU after Brexit, Defra Secretary Michael Gove has said.

Defra Secretary Michael Gove has revealed some details of his plans for a green Brexit by announcing an independent environmental watchdog will be set up in the UK after it leaves the EU.

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, Gove said the body needs to be established in the UK to “champion and uphold environmental standards”.

Although all EU regulations are set to be transferred into UK law in March 2019, Gove said there will be a “governance gap” in environmental regulation after Brexit as the European Commission currently holds an enforcement role for environmental rules in the UK.

Gove said: “We can develop new institutions which do a better job and hold us to higher standards.” He said the UK’s legal system was “not sufficient on its own” for enforcement of environmental regulations after Brexit.

“We have to establish a new, world-leading body to give the environment a voice and hold the powerful account, independent of government and able to speak its mind freely,” the article reads.

Although the Defra Secretary has promised higher environmental standards in the UK after Brexit, his article in The Sunday Telegraph promises that rules will be "rooted in rigorous scientific evidence.”

Northern Ireland

A public consultation is to be launched in the new year to establish the exact role of the new body.

The environment is a devolved matter in the UK and Gove said regions would have flexibility with the new environmental watchdog.

“There are significant questions to answer, such as … whether Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland take a different or similar approach,” he said.

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