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COVID-19 – Environment Bill’s passage through Parliament suspended

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

COVID-19: Environment Bill’s passage through Parliament suspended.

The passage of the Environment Bill 2019-21 has been suspended as the sittings of the Public Bill Committee of the House of Commons are halted due to the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, until further notice.

So far, the government has resisted any significant amendments to the Bill in the Committee stage, including proposals tabled to strengthen the independence and enforcement powers of the new Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) and to include a small particulate matter (PM 2.5) target in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines by 2030. It is likely that the government will continue to successfully resist amendments due to its large majority.

The delay could also have implications for the already tight timescale for setting up the OEP by 1 January 2021.

The Committee’s final report will be followed by the third Bill reading. The Bill will then be transferred to the House of Lords for further scrutiny.

Tom Warrender


Tom Warrender


Tom is a Partner and Commercial Property Solicitor with a wealth of experience acting for clients both locally and nationally since 2005.