UK environment laws under threat in ‘deregulatory free-for-all’
Environmentalists accused Liz Truss’s government of reneging on a commitment made after Brexit to halt the decline of nature by 2030. They say the revoking of 570 environmental laws that were rolled over from EU law after Brexit amounts to a deregulatory free-for-all leaving the environment unprotected.
The bill laid before parliament outlines how 570 environmental laws, and hundreds more covering every government department, including transport, health and social care, working hours and other areas, are being lined up to be removed from UK law or rewritten. These include the habitat regulations that have been vital in the protection of places for wildlife in the last 30 years and laws covering the release of nitrates and phosphates into rivers.
The laws were retained after Brexit when the then Conservative environment secretary, Michael Gove, promised the UK’s environmental laws would not be watered down.
RSPB ‘not ruling out’ direct action to defend nature from government policy
The head of the RSPB says the bird charity is ruling nothing out as it organises a mobilisation of millions of people against what it calls the government’s “attack on nature”.
Beccy Speight dismissed accusations by Conservative MPs that the group was lying to its members and pursuing a marketing drive, as it leads a coalition campaigning against the government over key “growth” policies which it argues will damage wildlife and nature.
The chief executive said a meeting with the secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs, Ranil Jayawardena, had not provided any reassurance that the government’s growth policies would protect nature.
The director general of the National Trust, Hilary McGrady, accused the government of “demonising” conservationists, saying her members were “outraged and worried”.