The UK Government takes the protection of the environment very seriously, and is enacting a wide range of policies to ensure that we preserve our environment for future generations. These policies will build on the world-leading progress the UK has made in, for example, reducing carbon emissions by 43% since 1990.
Leaving the European Union presents an excellent opportunity for the UK to develop global gold standard environmental policies, and I am pleased that the EU (Withdrawal) Act has ensured that the precautionary principle, and other current EU environment laws, will continue to be enshrined in domestic law after Brexit.
I also welcome the UK Government’s Agriculture Bill, which aims to put environmental stewardship at the very heart of the UK’s post-Brexit agriculture policy, replacing the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, which has rewarded land-holding ahead of good environmental practice. However, I am disappointed by the decision of the Scottish Government, which is responsible for agriculture in Scotland, to participate in this Bill.
Likewise, the UK Government is taking action to reduce the pollution of our air and our waters. Earlier this year, the Clean Air Strategy was launched, which sets out plans to reduce air pollution by tackling emissions from a range of sources. This autumn’s Budget also announced the introduction of a world-leading new tax on produced or imported plastic packaging, which will reduce the usage of single-use plastics, which are blighting our oceans.
I believe, therefore, that this Government is already taking the vital and necessary steps to bring about a Britain that is cleaner, greener, and more sustainable.