On 22 November 2016 Dr Therese Coffey MP, the Parliamentary Undersecretary of State, wrote to the Chair of the Law Commission giving the UK Government’s response to our recommendations. Dr Coffey noted:
Exit from the EU provides an opportunity to re-examine our regulatory framework and how it works, so that it is fit for purpose to meet our national needs in future and fulfil our international obligations. It means we need to consider the implications of EU Exit for our approach to wildlife policy before deciding whether and how to implement your proposals and whether some of your proposals would need amending in light of EU Exit.
Pressure on parliamentary time also means it is likely to be very difficult to find time to bring forward legislative proposals for major reform in the near future. However, I am happy to support the principle of looking at wildlife legislation as a whole to provide a coherent system which achieves better outcomes. The Law Commission’s work will be invaluable in informing the Government’s thinking.
Lesley Griffiths AM, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs wrote with the Welsh Government’s views:
In light of the uncertainty surrounding the future of environmental policy post Brexit, I do not believe it is time to bring forward a Wildlife Bill that implements your recommendations. The transition to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU provides the opportunity to improve environmental regulation, support the implementation of the Environment (Wales) Act 2016 and build on environmental standards. … I intend to use your report and draft Bill as part of the underpinning evidence to inform our way forward on new legislative opportunities to protect wildlife in Wales, following the referendum decision.
In his responses our Chair noted that the project’s core aim (to provide clear, coherent legislation and a modern, flexible regulatory framework to govern wildlife management in England and Wales) remains vitally important, and expressed his hope that the Report and draft Bill would help both Governments take stock of the current situation and make further adaptation to reflect future policy choices. He also suggested that a certain amount of rationalisation of the domestic legislation could be achieved without primary legislation.
Copies of all of these letters are available on our website.
Many thanks once again to those of you who have supported this important project over the last few years. The importance of your contribution, either meeting us, writing to us or responding to our consultation, cannot be overstated. We are very grateful to you.
With apologies for the tardiness of this message, and kind regards
David Connolly | Law Commission
Manager | Public law team
1st floor, Tower, post point 1.55, 52 Queen Anne’s Gate, London SW1H 9AG
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