Nick Brown MP MP for Newcastle upon Tyne East
The Environment Bill recently came back before the House of Commons for consideration of amendments made in the House of Lords. The Bill seeks to construct a framework for post-Brexit environmental regulation. Provisions such as a mandatory 10% increase in biodiversity following developments and the creation of an environmental regulator are important. However, in my view, it stops short of tackling the root causes.
Many of Lords’ amendments looked to substantially strengthen the Bill. This included Amendment 67 on formalising conservation covenants and Amendment 66 on statutory protection for ancient woodland. The Government made concessions on Amendment 67 which will add a layer of legal formality to conservation covenants. Unfortunately, the Government were able to use their majority in the House of Commons to defeat amendment 66.