Today (6 November 2018) the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) released the response from government to their report issued earlier in the year around the committees' worries regarding the 25-year Environment Plan (read more about this here)
The key elements of the EAC's report included a call for the government to implement obligatory environmental targets to address issues which a new independent body can thoroughly inspect. In addition, the report proposed that this new chosen 'environmental scrutineer' should be given considerable power, specifically following instances of violated standards when they would be able to take the government to court.
The full report can be viewed here
In response to this report, the government are indignant that it “already has extensive legal targets for the environment” and they plan to implement a new monitoring body as soon as it is feasible, however, did not elaborate on what authority this body will actually have.
A key overarching statement from the government's response was: “The Prime Minister has been clear that we will use the opportunity Brexit provides to strengthen and enhance our environmental protections – not to weaken them”.
However, the EAC's chair Mary Creagh MP is concerned about the government's response; specifically in terms of the fact no clear commitments have been made regarding the post-Brexit control of the environment, or to replacing all the EU environmental legislation which cannot be incorporated into UK regulations post-Brexit.
Regardless of these criticisms, the government have stated a new commitment within their response, which is to release annual reports detailing progress made towards achieving all 200 goals set within the 25-Year Environment Plan.