The REUL Bill: Where is it now?
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Following nine months of debate, the Retained EU Law (REUL) Bill has now reached royal assent. But what does this mean and how will it impact environmental protections?
After starting its journey on the 22nd of September 2022, during the Truss administration, the REUL Bill has reached Royal Assent, meaning that it will now go on to become UK law.
We, alongside other environmental charities, campaigned hard against this Bill due to its potential to inflict far-reaching damage to the natural world. Despite this, the UK Government has failed nature by allowing the Bill to pass without amendments that would have prevented the weakening or removal of environmental protections by current, or future, Governments in power.
We'll be watching closely as this dangerous Bill comes into play.
A cross-sector campaign
We joined a cross-sector supporter ask to call on the UK Government to drop the Bill, or for MPs to vote in support of environmentally positive amendments to the Bill. Many took part in and supported the campaign to show the UK Government that we care passionately about the protection of nature and recognise the risks of this Bill.
Despite our efforts to highlight the importance of environmental protections, and the dangers of not preserving them, the UK Government refused the sensible environmental safeguards put forward by House of Lords members. We remain worried about what this will mean for nature and our ocean, with the Bill enabling Ministers to reduce legal protections and to do so with reduced parliamentary scrutiny.
We're disappointed that the UK Government has not held nature and our ocean at the forefront of decisions during the passage of the REUL Bill.
There were many opportunities for safeguards on environmental protections to be included, yet no concession was made. Nevertheless, we will continue to fight for a cleaner, better protected and healthier ocean that we can all enjoy.
What happens next
During the Bill’s passage, Ministers made commitments to further environmental protections which have been captured by Greener UK. The UK Government prides itself on being a front runner and a leader on the world stage for conservation and has signed up to deliver on international agreements such as the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework at COP15.
We'll continue to work closely with the UK Government and parliamentarians to ensure that the promises made in Westminster and the UK’s international commitments are upheld, and that standards of protection for our ocean and environment are not diminished.