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Julie James MS, Minister for Climate Change

First published:
23 December 2022
Last updated:

In accordance with the inter-institutional relations agreement, I wish to notify you a further meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Group for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs was held on 5 December.

The meeting was chaired by Lord Richard Benyon, Minister for Biosecurity, Marine and Rural Affairs, UK Government. The meeting was also attended by Mairi Gougeon MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Islands, Scottish Government; Lorna Slater MSP, Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, Scottish Government; Mrs Katrina Godfrey, Permanent Secretary, Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs, Northern Ireland Government (in lieu of Minister); James Davies MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales; and John Lamont MP, Under-Secretary of State for Scotland.

At the meeting we discussed the issues currently impacting on the poultry and egg sector, as requested by Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Rural Affairs, North Wales and Trefnydd, following concerns raised by our stakeholders.

We discussed the status of the Retained EU Law (Reform and Revocation) Bill. I requested Defra provide officials with details on its plans as soon as possible. 

Lord Benyon gave an update on Offshore Wind Environment Improvement Package, and proposed reforms to consenting of offshore wind projects. While I agree with the intentions of the work, I emphasised my concerns over the proposed legislation and stressed that the devolution settlement must be respected.   

Borders and the implementation of the Target Operating Model were discussed next, and I outlined the importance of UKG engaging early with devolved governments.

Finally, we spoke about the upcoming COP15 meeting and discussed our ambitions and our collective response on biodiversity.

The next meeting will be held on Monday 23 January 2023.

A communique regarding this meeting will be published on the UK Government website (external link).

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.