Prorogation sees Trade and environmentally friendly bills dropped amid Extinction Rebellion protests
- On Tuesday evening Parliament was prorogued seeing a number of bills dropped including the Agriculture, Trade and Non-Domestic Ratings Bills
- This is another blow for the renewable and clean technology industry which has already suffered from the closure of the Feed-in Tariff and an increase in VAT in the last seven months
- This comes in the same week of Extinction Rebellion’s mass demonstrations calling for more coherent climate change policies
Dr Nina Skorupska CBE FEI, Chief Executive at the REA commented:
“The decision to drop the Agriculture, Trade and Non-Domestic Ratings Bills is another blow for our industry. Over the past few years we have been swimming against a tide of negative policies and funding cuts despite the Government outwardly stating their commitment to achieving our legally binding carbon targets and safeguarding our environment.
“In this time of uncertainty, the Government needs to send strong signals to the industry and the thousands of civilians taking to the streets in protest that the commitment to net zero is more than just rhetoric and obstructing mechanisms to help us achieve this goal is not the way to do this.
“We urge the Government to reconsider their decision to drop these bills by either reintroducing them in the next session or featuring them in the upcoming energy white paper.”
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Notes to editors
- The Agriculture Bill: The Bill intended to reform direct payments to farmers, changing them to focus on the provision of public goods that enhance and protect the environment. As such it had a focus on soil health and biodiversity amongst other areas.
- The Trade Bill: the Bill created the powers necessary for the UK to transition trade agreements that currently exist between the EU and other countries. It also established the Trade Remedies Authority, required to replace the trade remedies currently in place at the EU level to protect domestic markets. This includes existing trade remedies for renewable transport fuels.
- The Non-Domestic Ratings Bill: This Bill brought the date of the next business rate revaluation forward to 2021, which would be a welcome step in getting more frequent revaluations to avoid big jumps in rateable values. Without this legislation, it currently looks likely the revaluation will slip back to 2022.
- The prorogation also calls into question the progression of the Environment Bill. Currently in its draft stage, the bill is unlikely to be able to pass through Parliament before the 31st October Brexit deadline. If the UK is to leave on that date without passing the Environment Bill questions arise around whether the UK will be left no green governance mechanism.
- The REA’s comments on the recent VAT increase can be found here: https://www.r-e-a.net/news/solar-battery-storage-tax-hike-legislation-laid-on-same-day-as-net-zero-debate
About the Renewable Energy Association (REA)
The REA is the UK’s largest trade association for renewable energy and clean technologies with around 550 members operating across heat, transport, and power. The REA is a not-for-profit organisation that represents renewable energy and clean technology companies operating in over fourteen sectors, ranging from biogas and renewable fuels to solar and electric vehicle charging. Membership ranges from major multinationals to sole traders.
For more information, visit: www.r-e-a.net