Lords raise questions on new green policeman

Lord Gardiner of Kimble, Parliamentary under secretary of state for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, repeatedly assured peers quizzing him on prospects for the Environmental Enforcement Agency (EEA) in the House on 8 January that consultation on the new body will be “full and proper”. The Agency was announced last year, and will be the new independent statutory body to hold the authorities to account on environmental commitments after Brexit. Among the peers’ questions were:

  • Will the EEA be established before we exit Europe?

  • Will it be introduced through primary or delegated legislation?

  • What will the relationship be between the EEA and the Environment Agency?

  • Will it apply in the devolved administrations?

  • What teeth will the EEA need and how will it get them?

  • Will it be able to enforce fines against the government in infraction proceedings?

  • To whom will it be accountable?

In most instances, Lord Gardiner (pictured) said he could not reply at this stage because the whole point of the consultation is to decide on the best way forward.