Skip to content

Michael Gove Faces Backlash Over His Green Quango Proposal

The Daily Telegraph

Michael Gove is facing a Cabinet backlash over his plans for a “green Brexit” amid concerns that it will lead to increased red tape and damage the economy after Brexit.

The Environment Secretary has committed to an independent “world-leading” statutory body to maintain environmental standards after Brexit and “embed” protections for land, water and air in law.

However The Telegraph understands that Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, has raised concerns about the potential cost of new regulations while Mr Grayling, the Transport Secretary, has warned it could hinder the construction of new roads and railway lines.

Greg Clark, the Business Secretary, is concerned that it could lead to more red tape after Brexit and conflict with the Committee on Climate Change, an independent body that advises the Government and is sponsored by his department.

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has been clear that she backs Mr Gove’s plans for a green Brexit and even launched his 25-year environmental plan earlier this year.

An MP who is an ally of Mr Gove told The Daily Telegraph that the opposition to his plans is “stupid and short-sighted”.

The MP said: “We have said that we will maintain, and in some areas exceed them. It is the right thing to do and it has the Prime Minister’s backing.

“Did they learn nothing from the election campaign? People care about the environments, we are way in front of Labour on this.”

Mr Gove said earlier this year that European laws that will be enshrined on the UK’s statute books after Brexit are “not enough” without the oversight of a new environmental watchdog.

The European Commission currently oversees environmental regulation, but Mr Gove believes that a new independent body will be necessary after Brexit…

A consultation is due to be published next month, but Whitehall sources said it may be delayed because of the strength of opposition from some Cabinet ministers.

Full story