REVEALED: Ministers seek Charles’s permission to introduce protectionist laws for businesses | Area


The government has asked King Charles to approve his “world-leading” post-Brexit environment bill because laws requiring landowners to step up conservation could affect his business interests.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pau They wrote to the Prince of Wales in 2019 to ask if they would accept Part Seven of the Environment Act, which will become law in November 2021.

It refers to the importance of “maintaining a landscape that is a natural environment or natural resources or a place of archaeological, architectural, artistic, cultural or historical interest”. Violators of safeguard agreements may be subject to fines.

The move became law and ministers hailed it as a boon for post-Brexit Britain. “We are setting an example for the rest of the world to follow,” said Environment Secretary George Eustace.

However, the government missed its own statutory deadline for what it called “exciting” environmental law targets. When they emerged, months late, conservation charities said the nature, clean air and water targets were too low and would not deliver the environmental benefits promised by 2030.

In the letters, published on Saturday and dated October 2019, Poe informed Charles: “This draft contains measures against the protection covenants affecting the interests of the Crown, the Duchy of Lancaster and the Duchy of Cornwall.” Section 7 of the Act (Conservation covenants) treats Crown land like any other land.

These conservation covenants are new agreements between governments and landowners that require the landowner to refrain from activities that damage or pollute certain areas of biodiversity and national significance.

The letters show that Clive Alderton, the Prince’s private secretary, responded to Poe and confirmed that he was “satisfied with the bill” by giving his consent to the legislation.

The Duchy of Cornwall brings in £21m a year for the Duke and his family. The income from the estate passed to William, son of Charles, now Prince of Wales. The Duchy covers approximately 53,000 hectares (130,000 acres) in 23 counties, mostly in South West England and is affected by environmental targets in many areas of outstanding natural beauty and importance.

Charles had previously interfered in government affairs when it could have affected business. Last year Guard In the year In 1992 he revealed he used the controversial practice to force ministers in John Major’s government to secretly change legislation to benefit the landed estate.

Under the process, the late Queen and her eldest son were given copies of the draft laws in advance to examine whether the law affected their public domain or private property, such as the Duchy of Cornwall estate or private property at Sandringham. This procedure is different from the more familiar royal assent – the formality that causes a bill to become law.

of Guards Queen’s consent investigations have been used in recent decades to personally broker changes in the late monarchy. During her reign, more than 1,000 parliamentary acts had to be approved by her or her daughter before ministers could implement them. In the year They include the 1993 Tenancy Reform Act, when Charles put pressure on elected ministers to prove his own tenants were being exempted from buying their own homes.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs declined to comment. Buckingham Palace has been contacted for comment.



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