This amendment would ensure that, in relation to EU-derived environmental protections, the UK judicial system would be ready, following departure from the EU, to effectively perform the enforcement duties currently undertaken by institutions of the EU. Currently, the Commission acts as the guardian of the law and responds to legitimate complaints. Serious breaches are referred to the European Court of Justice, which has the power to sanction, including fines of many hundreds of millions of pounds.
If the government is serious in its ambition to be the first government to leave the environment in a better condition than that in which it found it, then Ministers must give detail on how this complex and robust system of legal enforcement by the EU institutions will be replaced.
Clause 1, page 1, line 5, at end insert—
“( ) A notification may only be given under subsection (1) once—
- Her Majesty’s Government has laid before each House of Parliament a White Paper identifying the impact of withdrawal from the European Union on securing compliance with environmental regulation, including proposals for oversight, accountability and enforcement mechanisms replacing the role of the European Commission and the European Court of Justice to ensure an equivalent level of compliance with environmental regulation; and
- the approach set out in the White Paper has been approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.”