4 Matching Annotations
  1. Mar 2018
    1. Amendment 66 also goes further than the existing principles set out in EU and UK law today. In particular, it would introduce a new power for courts to declare provisions in primary or secondary legislation to be incompatible with the environmental principles. This power does not currently exist in either EU or UK law.I will go a little further. The precautionary principle is included in, for instance, the REACH regulation and the invasive species regulation, so it will be preserved by the Bill in those areas. Similarly, the polluter pays principle, referred to by a number of noble Lords, is referred to in the Water Environment (Water Framework Directive) (England and Wales) Regulations 2017, which will also be preserved by the Bill. EU case law on chemicals, waste and habitats, for example, includes judgments on the application of the precautionary principle to those areas, which will, likewise, be preserved by the Bill.The purpose of the Bill is to convert and preserve the law so that after exit it continues to operate as intended. This includes many of the directives referred to, such as the wild birds and habitats directives, as transposed through domestic legislation. It is not appropriate for the Bill to introduce new powers of this kind.   Share this contribution Lord Deben   Share this contribution My noble friend has explained that some things are already there. Can he give me an undertaking that if we were in consultation to remove from this amendment anything that is additional to where the European Union now is, he would accept this amendment? That is the issue. If we were to do that, would he accept the amendment?   Share this contribution Lord Callanan   Share this contribution I cannot give an assurance that we would do that. This is about legal certainty—taking a snapshot of existing laws and transferring them into UK law as it is. It is not about creating new powers within the Bill. There will be a further opportunity to discuss this when we publish our proposals for the new body.   Share this contribution Lord Deben   Share this contribution I have not said “new powers” or talked about creating legal certainty. He keeps using that phrase. I merely said that if we amend this so that there is no additionality to what is already in European law, will he accept that as an amendment?   Share this contribution ​ Lord Callanan   Share this contribution If a new amendment is put forward, of course we will look at it and consider its legal implications. I can give that assurance.

      But it refers to them at EU level, no? Chance of an amendment at report stage that isn't ambitious enough based on these commitments?

    2. you cannot understand the law unless you understand the principles. That has always been the situation. All we are saying is: let us make our law understandable by the principles to which we have assented and to which, we are told, the present Government wish to continue to assent.
    3. The vital issue is that the environment needs to have a framework within which people can have confidence that their interests will in fact be met. In the past, we have had the framework of the European Union. The Government say we can have just as good a framework outside the European Union—well, this is the framework, and there is no reason why they should refuse it.

      nice quote

    4. I found the presence of EU law, particularly on bathing waters and water quality, extremely helpful. It was not always easy to convince my colleagues that we really did have less good drinking water than much of the rest of the European Union. They rather took my mother’s view, which was that the reason that people had bottled water in France was because their ordinary water was unacceptable. There was a general view, much promoted in the Daily Telegraph, that there was no need for improvement. I have to say that there was need. There was even more need, as Surfers Against Sewage made clear, to do something about our appalling bathing water standards. We were, after all, in much of the country pouring unreformed ordure—I do try very hard to use phrases that the Committee will not object to—into the sea. We were able to change that, not, I may say, without very considerable difficulty and arguments about the price and cost of doing it. It was within a context of EU law, and not just precise pieces of law but the context in which we accepted certain standards and values to which we could refer when it came to making our own legislation.

      value of EU law to conservative governments in the past