Press release dated 20 December 2018


UKELA, the independent association of environmental lawyers, consultants and other specialists, welcomes the draft Environment (Principles & Governance) Bill clauses presented to Parliament yesterday by Defra as part of, what it describes, as the creation of a robust new system of green governance.

The draft Bill provides for setting up a world-leading environmental body, the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP), to uphold standards as we leave the EU. It also establishes a clear set of environmental principles to guide policymaking, as well as placing the government's 25 Year Environment Plan on a statutory footing. Defra was required to publish the draft clauses by Boxing Day under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and follows its consultation earlier in 2018.

Begonia Filgueira, Co-Chair of UKELA’s Brexit Task Force noted:

“At first glance, the draft Bill appears to cover many of the areas of law and policy change considered over the summer. UKELA will be publishing a report in due course scrutinising the effectiveness of the current Bill, and any further additions, in line with the Government's policy post Brexit.”

Angus Evers, Co-Chair of UKELA’s Brexit Task Force added that:

“The opportunities for developing environmental law and policy after Brexit are significant. The draft Bill is a bold attempt at ensuring that the UK’s environmental standards do not slip, but are maintained and even enhanced.”

Peter Harvey, Chair of UKELA Brexit Task Force Sub-Group stated that:

“We are studying the draft Bill closely and welcome the opportunity for debate and discussion on its contents over the coming weeks and months. UKELA has organised a half-day conference jointly with ClientEarth and WWF on this important topic at UCL on 14 January 2019. This will help inform the discussion on and development of the Bill.”



For more information about UKELA and the consultation response contact:

Dr Paul Stookes


For general information on environmental issues, visit our sister site Law and Your environment