The Withdrawal Agreement Bill could allow any court or tribunal to reverse EU case law, but the environment secretary has promised any new trade deals will not lower standards. Photograph: Oxford Farming Conference The Withdrawal Agreement Bill could allow any court or tribunal to reverse EU case law, but the environment secretary has promised any new trade deals will not lower standards. Photograph: Oxford Farming Conference

10 key things that happened this week

10 of the biggest stories from the past week: Brexit bill risks trashing green EU case law, expert warns; Revised environmental legislation imminent, says environment secretary; Draft incinerator permit ‘defies common sense’, says home secretary

1 Brexit bill risks trashing green EU case law, expert warns

The new Withdrawal Agreement Bill could allow ministers to tear up crucial environmental case law from the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU), a legal expert has warned. 

The bill, which MPs began examining this week, includes a new provision that gives the government the power to decide whether any court or tribunal is bound by EU case law retained after Brexit. MORE

2 Revised environmental legislation imminent, says environment secretary

Theresa Villiers made her first big speech of the new parliament this week signalling that major environmental legislation would be arriving soon, including the resurrection of a revised Agriculture Bill. MORE

3 Draft incinerator permit ‘defies common sense’, says home secretary

The Environment Agency has issued a draft permit for a major energy-from-waste plant, drawing criticism from home secretary Priti Patel and local groups. MORE

4 HS2 ‘not good for the environment’, says former review panel member

HS2 is “the wrong and expensive solution” for improving north-south rail services and will have a negative environmental impact, according to the former deputy chair of a government review into the project. MORE

5 Inspector condemns council’s environmental approach to local plan

A council’s unwillingness to cooperate with Natural England and its neighbours over air quality issues and housing need has prompted a planning inspector to recommend its local plan be withdrawn from the examination process. MORE

6 An amazing story’: Devon beaver reintroduction deemed a success

A colony of beavers in a Devon river has brought social and economic benefits that “far outweigh the costs”, according to a team of experts that is concluding a five-year study of the reintroduction scheme. MORE

7 Waste firms win right to appeal against paying landfill tax on ‘fluff’

Three waste firms have won their right to appeal against a ruling that found they should pay landfill tax on black bag waste used to protect the lining of landfills. MORE

8 Tank failure releases acid cloud in Essex

Schools have been closed and residents advised to keep doors and windows closed following after a cloud of hydrochloric acid was released from an industrial estate in West Thurrock. MORE

9 Biffa chief: China recycling ban has ‘done us all a favour’

Biffa, one of the UK’s largest waste firms, has revealed it will spend approximately £70-80m on energy-from-waste (EfW) facilities over the next three to four years and will invest a similar amount in plastics recycling. MORE

10 Top Johnson aide: Brexit will lead to ‘limited’ divergence from EU rules

The UK is unlikely to diverge significantly from EU regulations after the Brexit transition period, a special adviser to prime minister Boris Johnson has said. MORE

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