The Environmental Policy Forum (EPF) has submitted a report to the House of Lords Constitution Committee Inquiry, showing its concerns with how the EU (Withdrawal) Bill addresses the establishment of a new independent body.
Within the report, EPF suggest four alterations to the formation of a new body that would better suit the UK Post-Brexit.
It states that the creation of an independent, expert body should examine the four Assemblies and Parliaments, to address vital issues within the Environment as well as other problems, as the European Commission can no longer provide this after leaving the EU.
EPF believe that the new body should be funded by and accountable to the UK Assemblies and Parliaments, much like the National Audit Office.
As the EU has supported the UK with a framework for long-term thinking on environmental issues and political cycles, the report states that the new body would advise on the formation of plans and allow scrutiny through parliamentary processes.
Other changes it suggests are that there should be an assurance that all UK devolved and national governments and regulatory agencies should account for their own implementation of the law, due to the European Commission and Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) jurisdiction ending.
With the UK recently changing the rules relating to judicial review, which makes it more difficult and expensive to access justice in environmental cases, the Forum suggested that access to justice and ability to contribute should be secured to ensure citizens bring cases forward.
Organisations including CIWM have welcomed EPF’s approach to a new independent body that will uphold environmental standards.
CIWM chief executive DR Colin Church said: “We are pleased to see that the Government plans to consult on this soon and we would expect the new body to uphold the long-term ambitions that we hope to see set out in the forthcoming 25-year Environment Plan.”
Other concerns that are brought up within the report include ensuring appropriate parliamentary scrutiny during withdrawal stages, altering the principles of environmental protection and working collaboratively with the devolved nations.