During a debate on Wednesday afternoon/evening discussing the Repeal Bill, the politicians were debating the many environmental amendments made to the bill. Basically, politicians from both sides were concerned that when we leave the EU, current EU law that governs issues such as animal protection will be removed and politicians wanted amendments put into the bill made law. The amendments were eventually defeated, but a interesting aspect came out of it that I've not seen reported on by the mainstream media.
In his debate discussing this amendments, Oliver Letwin, Conservative MP and top barrister let slip that the government is to publish a Environmental Protection Bill soon. During this debate, many MPs were concerned about animal welfare and specifically that animal sentience is recognised in UK law. Letwin pointed out that there are already UK laws that do cover some of these issues, but the new law will be far more comprehensive and will be enacted before Brexit.
Importantly, as Letwin was making these remarks, Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, entered the chamber. Letwin asked Gove to confirm by nodding that what Letwin was talking about was accurate and Gove did this.
An important aspect of this new bill, as Letwin went on to explain, will be the setting up of a stand-alone body, separate from government and the Environment Agency which will have the power to bring the government to court if it fails on its key environmental policies such as clean air and clean water. This will be far more powerful than anything that exists in the EU, so the UK will end up with higher environmental and animal protection law, not less, after Brexit.