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Set up a new independent Office For Environmental Protection

Last updated 3 weeks ago

We will set up a new independent Office For Environmental Protection and introduce our own legal targets, including for air quality.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2019, p.43

Our verdict

  • This is a promise to establish a new, independent legal body, the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP), to “support environmental protection and hold government to account” when the UK has fully exited the EU. 
  • The legislation to create the OEP is contained in the Environment Bill, currently progressing through Parliament, but on 1 March 2021 the government announced that the OEP would begin operating on an interim basis from July 2021, ahead of its formal establishment. The first OEP board members were announced in June 2021, and the interim body began work in early July 2021.
  • Some groups have suggested government amendments to the Environment Bill undermine the independence of the OEP, and Labour MPs opposed many amendments at the Commons committee stage, but with the OEP already operating, on an interim basis, this policy is certainly ‘in progress’.

There's always room for debate

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