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MP introduces Parliamentary Bill to protect and improve Britain’s environmental, food and farming standards

April 28, 2021 8:49 PM
Originally published by Tim Farron

On the floor of the House of Commons this afternoon, Lib Dem MP Tim Farron presented a Ten Minute Rule Bill that would create an independent regulator to protect the UK's world-leading food, farming and environmental standards.

The new regulator would be able to ensure that imports meet UK standards for animal welfare and environmental protections - preventing products like chlorinated chicken or hormone treated beef being able to flood the British market.

It would also have new powers to ensure that the Government and public authorities comply with their environmental and climate targets, by issuing sanctions for those that fail to meet them.

The Government had promised to create a new environmental regulator, replacing the role the European Commission played before Brexit. However the proposed "Office of Environmental Protection" (OEP) has been criticised for lacking meaningful enforcement powers.

Furthermore, the Environment Bill that will create the OEP has been delayed several times since it was first introduced in 2018, and is now not expected to return to Parliament until after the Queen's Speech.

Speaking in Parliament, Tim said: "This Bill would introduce an independent body - which the Government has promised to do for four years now - which would have the power to assess the environmental impacts of international trade deals and to ensure that the government does not bequeath an environmental disaster to our children and grandchildren.

"I hope the Government takes this opportunity to protect our air quality, biodiversity and our farmers, key allies in our fight against the climate and ecological emergencies, so that they can help us to improve our natural environment before it is too late.

"To do that, we need an independent environmental regulator as the Government has promised. And given that the Government has failed to deliver that promise, I stand here today to deliver it for them and for the good of our farmers and our environment…there is no more time to lose."