Parties divided over EC proposals on environmental liability

Fresh details of the Government's position on the European Commission's recent White Paper on liability for environmental damage emerged during a House of Commons debate in June. Conservative MPs saw no merit in the proposals and fulminated about the prospect of "extremist" and "fanatical" groups taking liability proceedings against businesses. The Government supports the principle of an EC regime - but is unhappy about many of the Commission's detailed proposals. Achieving insurability of risks and limiting the rights of interest groups to take liability actions are two of its main objectives.

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