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Brexit environment body sees Gove secure ‘eminent’ lawyer

Michael GoveIn the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, Environment Secretary, Michael Gove announced that an “eminent” environmental lawyer had been secured.

Giving evidence at the EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee on 3rd April, the secretary of state for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said that an “eminent” environmental lawyer had been secured to head the shadow body to oversee the environment protection regime in the event of “no deal” Brexit.

Michael Gove said: “In the sub optimal situation where we leave without a deal, we have secured an eminent, energetic and effective watchdog.”

The new body, proposed by Government is named the Office of Environmental Protection (OEP) which will take over from the European Commission (the enforcement of EU environmental law) that the UK government has vowed to uphold post-Brexit.

Under the proposed terms of the UK’s withdrawal agreement, the EU commission will retain their role until the end of the Brexit transition period in 2020 when the OEP is due to take effect.

Michael Gove said:

“We will use the full rigor of the law in the interim, and if there is any need for any part of government to be ‘brought to brook’, the shadow body will make sure that, when the OEP comes into being, appropriate action is taken.”

Gove said that the shadow body will “advise, monitor and refer to the OEP any breaches.”

He also said: “If anyone thinks that a no deal EU exit will create an opportunity for them to play ‘fast and loose’ then it will be clear their activities will be checked and monitored.

“We will use the full rigor of the law in the interim, and if there is any need for any part of government to be ‘brought to brook’, the shadow body will make sure that, when the OEP comes into being, appropriate action is taken.”

Sources: www.ciwm-journal.co.uk www.utilityweek.co.uk

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