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Lesley Griffiths MS, Minister for Rural Affairs, North Wales and Trefnydd
Julie James MS, Minster for Climate Change

First published:
7 June 2023
Last updated:

In accordance with the inter-institutional relations agreement, we wish to notify you a meeting of the Inter- Ministerial Group for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs was held on 22 May 2023.

The meeting was chaired by Lorna Slater MSP, Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity,  The meeting was also attended by Mairi Gougeon MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Island, Dr Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for Environment and Rural Affairs, Alistair Jack MP, Secretary of State for Scotland; James Davies MP, Parliamentary Under–Secretary of State for Wales; Rebecca Pow, Secretary of State for Environment Quality and Resilience; and Mrs Katrina Godfrey, Permanent Secretary in absence of Northern Ireland Minister

The Secretary of State for Defra gave an update on the UK Biodiversity Framework and plans for the UK response to the Kuming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.

We discussed the Scottish Government’s request for an exclusion to the UK Internal Market Act for its Deposit Return Scheme. The Secretary of State for Scotland requested further work to be completed before an exclusion could be considered despite proper framework processes being adhered to by the Scottish Government. We expressed our significant concern additional processes were being added outside the Common Framework process.

We then discussed the UK Government’s intention to introduce a ban on wet wipes containing plastic. This proposal has been made at pace with little consideration of joint working. Given our shared ambition to address the issue of wet wipes, we stressed the benefits of working together and using the mechanism of the common frameworks process.

The next agenda item was on the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill where the Secretary of State for Defra updated us on the latest UK Government plans. We raised the need for transparency on the impacts of the Bill on areas of devolved competence and clarity regarding potential divergence as a result of the Bill.

Finally, Scottish Government gave a presentation on their vision and ambition for the Blue Economy.

The next meeting will be held on Monday 26 June.

A communique regarding this meeting will be published on the UK Government website at Communiqués from the Inter Ministerial Group for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.