Brexit’s green watchdog – rottweiler or poodle?

Environment secretary Michael Gove has committed to achieving a green Brexit, with a powerful new, independent oversight body. But his Environmental Principles and Governance Bill consultation risks falling well short of previously implied ambitions

Paul Hatchwell
Paul Hatchwell, writer and consultant on energy and climate policy

Much has been made of environment secretary Michael Gove’s new-found enthusiasm for ensuring a ‘green Brexit’. This is not surprising given huge concerns over the existential threat Brexit poses to environmental protections on the statute book, acquired over 40 years within the EU, unless alternative structures are put in place in time. Gove’s dovish statements are, after all, in sharp contrast to some of the shriller deregulatory tendencies expressed within the Cabinet, Treasury, the Department for Exiting the EU (DExEU) and among enviro-sceptic Conservative backbenchers.

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