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The Environment Bill in the ‘Report Stage’

The Environment Bill

The Environmental Bill is currently in the ‘Report Stage’ which is to be confirmed ahead of the Third Reading. The first and second readings in Parliament commenced 30th January 2020, with the committee stage commencing in March 2020.

The Environment Bill makes provisions for introducing new statutory environmental principles and an independent environmental body, the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP), which is said to hold the government to account on environmental law after Brexit.

The Environmental Bill contents includes

In April 2019, Committees published separate reports, which were heavily critical of the draft clauses in the Bill. They identified the following particular problems:


  • EU environmental principles were severely downgraded.
  • As climate change was not initially included in the remit of the OEP, there was a governance gap with no government agency with responsibility for enforcing climate change mitigation measures. (That has been expanded in the Bill.)
  • No environmental accountability for action by government departments.
  • No equivalent level of environmental protection to that currently provided under EU legislation.
  • Insufficient independence (including financial) or adequate compliance tools for the OEP. (These have now been improved in the Environment Bill.)

The Environmental Bill could be a complex transition and have a significant impact on Farmers, Agricultural businesses and their clients, and you can find out more on the details of the Bill, and how it might impact you, on the Government website here.

At Hibberts Solicitors we work with farmers, accountants, land managers and advisors to adapt the business as needed during complex transitions. Contact our Agricultural law team today should you require any advice.

John Gibbons

Solicitor, Head of Agriculture

John is Head of the Agriculture Department and qualified as a Solicitor in 2001 having attended Staffordshire University Law School.John says “Our role in the agricultural department is unique in that it involves agricultural law with business, property, and estate planning. It is very interesting and rewarding.In 2016, John became a Fellow of the Agricultural Law Association by completing the examinations in London.John attends annual specialist conferences and continual profession development courses to keep up to date with the latest legal developments.