MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) written a letter to Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom to demand the government's long-awaited 25-year plan for nature is released without further delay. The government was originally expected to deliver its wide-ranging new plan for last summer, setting out a long term policy framework for enhancing every aspect of the UK's natural resources, including air, water, soil, wildlife, forests, and marine and urban habitats. However, its release was delayed in the wake of the Brexit vote, which necessitated a major rethink in how the UK will adopt or replace hundreds of EU environmental regulations.
In the letter, Chair of the EAC Mary Creagh MP states: "I recognise the pressures your Department faces as a result of preparations for leaving the European Union and existing budget cuts. Nonetheless, my Committee recommended that the framework for the plan should be published and consulted on before Article 50 is triggered, so as to inform the Government’s negotiating position. This seems unlikely, raising the prospect of the Government entering crucial and time-limited negotiations with the EU without an agreed plan. It is essential that the 25-year plan for the environment and its framework is not delayed further".