Consultation launched on Environmental Principles and Governance after EU Exit

A new consultation has been launched by Defra into the development of an Environmental Principles and Governance Bill.



On 10 May 2018, Defra launched a consultation on Environmental Principles and Governance after EU Exit. The ambitions for a Green Brexit, outlined in the 25 Year Environment Plan, must be underpinned by a legislative framework. This consultation is the first stage in the development of an Environmental Principles and Governance Bill.

Scope of the Consultation

The consultation looks some of the questions around how environmental principles should be embedded into law once the UK has left the EU. It also looks at questions around public policy-making and delivery, and what functions and powers a new environmental watchdog could have. The consultation proposals apply to England and reserved matters only.

The consultation is divided into three sections:

Part 1 – Environmental Principles

Part 2 – Accountability for the Environment

Part 3 – Overall Environmental Governance

The British Ecological Society could respond to include Part 1- Environmental Principles only. With regards to Part 2 & 3, we will aim to collaborate with other organisations and contribute to their response. We are happy to receive contributions on all three parts of the consultation.


We intend to organise a workshop in early July to help inform our response to Part 1 of the consultation. We will update this page when the date has been confirmed.

How to contribute and get involved

If you would like to express interest in getting involved with our response or workshop, please email Camilla or Sara from the Policy team ASAP or by 1st June.

If you would like to send us a contribution for the final BES response, please email Camilla or Sara no later than 5pm, Friday 15 June 2018 with your response.

Consultation Questions

Part 1 – Environmental Principles:

Question 1: Which environmental principles do you consider as the most important to underpin future policy-making?

Question 2: Do you agree with these proposals for a statutory policy statement on environmental principles (this applies to both Options 1 and 2)?

Question 3: Should the Environmental Principles and Governance Bill list the environmental principles that the statement must cover (Option 1) or should the principles only be set out in the policy statement (Option 2)?

Part 2 – Accountability for the Environment:

Question 4: Do you think there will be any environmental governance mechanisms missing as a result of leaving the EU?

Question 5: Do you agree with the proposed objectives for the establishment of the new environmental body?

Question 6: Should the new body have functions to scrutinise and advise the government in relation to extant environmental law?

Question 7: Should the new body be able to scrutinise, advise and report on the delivery of key environmental policies, such as the 25 Year Environment Plan?

Question 8: Should the new body have a remit and powers to respond to and investigate complaints from members of the public about the alleged failure of government to implement environmental law?

Question 9: Do you think any other mechanisms should be included in the framework for the new body to enforce government delivery of environmental law beyond advisory notices?

Question 10: The new body will hold national government directly to account. Should any other authorities be directly or indirectly in the scope of the new body?

Question 11: Do you agree that the new body should include oversight of domestic environmental law, including that derived from the EU, but not of international environmental agreements to which the UK is party?

Question 12: Do you agree with our assessment of the nature of the body’s role in the areas outlined above?

Question 13: Should the body be able to advise on planning policy?

Part 3 – Overall Environmental Governance:

Question 14: Do you have any other comments or wish to provide any further information relating to the issues addressed in this consultation document?