Environment Bill

Example Email Correspondence

Dear Giles Watling MP

Our environment is struggling, our nature is in decline and the air in our cities is toxic. We must act now to ensure we leave a natural legacy to be proud of, and the profound political changes we are going through mean we have the perfect opportunity to make a real difference on the world around us.

I'm emailing you to ask you to contact Michael Gove to support a Westminster Environment Bill that:

- secures a healthy, resilient, and sustainable environment that benefits people and wildlife;

- sets legally binding targets to clean up our air, seas, and freshwater; makes our soils healthy again; and helps restore our nature and habitats to ensure the English countryside is teeming with life for generations to come;

- enshrines world-leading environmental principles (like precautionary and polluter pays) in law to underpin fair and far-sighted decision making;

- creates an independent watchdog to properly hold UK government and public bodies to account, by upholding environmental law, championing citizens' rights, and preventing the roll-back of existing environmental protections.

Our environment knows no borders and a healthy and resilient environment is essential to everyone, in all parts of the UK. Therefore, I also encourage you to call for the four nations of the UK to work together to address our shared environmental challenges.


My Reply

Thank you for contacting me about the Environment Bill.

As set out in the 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment, the decision to leave the European Union has created an historic opportunity to deliver a Green Brexit, where environmental standards are not only maintained but enhanced.

I can understand why this is a moment of concern for some. The European Union has, in a number of ways, been a force for good environmentally, so I am pleased that the Government has no intention of weakening the environmental protections it has seen put in place. 

However, in other areas these environmental protections have not always succeeded, most clearly in relation to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The CAP rewards land-holding ahead of good environmental practice. Outside it, we can use public money to reward environmentally responsible land use. Meanwhile despite reforms that the UK has led since 2010, still 40 per cent of fish stocks in the Atlantic, North Sea and Baltic Sea are being fished unsustainably. By leaving the CFP, taking back control of our waters, granting access and allocating quotas based on sustainability, we can pursue the very highest standards in marine conservation.

Outside the EU we can develop global gold standard environmental policies, taking smarter, more targeted approaches to the improvements we want to see. As a start, Ministers have been consulting on a new independent, statutory body to advise and challenge the Government and potentially other public bodies on environmental legislation, stepping in when needed to hold them to account and enforce standards.

We can, and I believe we will, be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.