Generic background

Will the new environmental protections deliver a Greener Brexit?

Earlier this month, the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove announced plans to consult on a new, independent body for environmental standards following the withdrawal from the EU.

The idea would be for the new body to encourage transparency, ensuring the environment is at the heart of policy making and maintaining vital protections for landscapes, wildlife and natural assets.

As it currently stands, the European Commission is responsible for overseeing environmental decisions as well as introducing legislation and regulations - this can be anything from air quality to the protection of endangered species. Although a lot of the principles are central to government environmental policy, they are currently only set out in the EU treaties, so ministers hope to explore the scope and content of the new independent body.

In order to do so and to contribute to a ‘Green Brexit’, ministers will consult on a new independent, statutory body to advise and challenge government and potentially other public bodies on environmental legislation – stepping in when needed to hold these bodies to account and enforce standards.

The consultation, due to be launched early next year, will help identify specific powers and scope of the new body, as well as looking at whether Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will take a similar approach to England on environmental issues.


UK government proposes independent body to advise on post-Brexit environmental issues. (20 November 2017), Available at: [Accessed 20 Nov 2017]
New environmental protections to deliver a Green Brexit, (12 November 2017), Available at:, [Accessed 16 Nov 2017]
Rics logo     Copso logo     SearchCode logo     Ombudsman logo