Do ‘serious loopholes’ undermine DEFRA’s landmark Environment Bill?

Just a day after the Queen formally reopened parliament, DEFRA unveiled its long-anticipated Environment Bill, which sets out a legal framework for improving air and water quality, the natural world and waste management after Brexit.

While legal commentators are still grappling with the bill, which comes in at a hefty 234 pages, they have already sounded the alarm over passages that would give the government considerable flexibility over how it will apply a new set of environmental principles and leeway on meeting new legally-binding targets. 

Introducing the bill at the London Wetlands Centre, environment secretary Theresa Villiers said the governance structures it introduces “take the long view, acknowledging the obligations we owe to those who will occupy this world long after we are gone”.

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