Last reviewed 20 March 2018

Environment Secretary Michael Gove claims the environment will be better protected when the UK leaves the EU.

Speaking at a Prosperity UK gathering earlier this week, Gove said he recognised that EU membership had “both increased awareness of environmental concerns and improved mechanisms to safeguard the natural world”, but added there would be no abandonment of environmental principles, post-Brexit.

“That is why we’re consulting on how to introduce a new environmental protection body and it’s why we’ve outlined policies for the natural world in our 25-Year Environment Plan that, in some cases, are more ambitious than any required by EU membership,” he said.

In his speech, the Environment Secretary said he would aim to strengthen environmental protection measures and create new mechanisms to incentivise environmental improvement.

Outlining his plans for the longer term, Gove said he would go further in dealing with pollution caused by plastics and would introduce new proposals for a clean air strategy later this spring, including further restrictions on diesel use. There was strong support too for further integrating natural capital principles into the Government’s 25-Year Environment Plan.

Gove also hinted his intentions to introduce a new environment Bill to underpin his environmental ambitions at Defra. “I can state clearly that if we are to honour our pledge to leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it, we must also leave our statute book in a better state,” Gove added.