Paul Burstow: Liberal Democrats won’t support the Digital Economy Bill

The Liberal Democrats have now withdrawn their support for the Digital Economy Bill, in a revision of the original plan to vote against certain elements in the “washup” (the last-minute rush to pass laws without debate or detailed scrutiny at the end of a Parliament).

Paul Burstow, Liberal Democrat Chief Whip announced on Twitter earlier today:

I have told the Govt we won’t support the Digital Economy Bill as drafted. There is not enough time for MPs to examine it in detail.

The Guardian takes up the story:

The Liberal Democrats have called for the Digital Economy bill to be scrapped and re-introduced afresh in the next Parliament, and say they will oppose its rushed passage if, as expected, it is speeded through to become law in the “wash-up” ahead of a general election.

Paul Burstow, the Liberal Democrat chief whip, told the Guardian that although the party’s opposition might not be enough on its own to prevent the bill from passing, he hoped that the arguments being put forward – that the issues needed more debate than has been possible – might sway one of the other parties into delaying its passage.

“During the negotiation and discussion in the wash-up we will make it clear that we think that it isn’t a suitable way to deal with the issues remaining such as site blocking,” Burstow said. “We will put amendments down and make the case and hope that the government and the Conservatives will agree that it shouldn’t proceed at this stage,” Burstow said.

This is the latest in a series of events within the Liberal Democrats, which began with an open letter by Bridget Fox and 24 other PPCs. This expressed concern at amendments tabled by Liberal Democrat peers to the Digital Economy Bill.

Dialogue ensued, an emergency motion was submitted to Spring Conference, and was passed with overwhelming support.

The Liberal Democrats Save the Net group has produced a factsheet detailing the motion and explaining its background:

Save the Net Factsheet

Also available at Scribd here.

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This entry was posted in News and Parliament.
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5 Comments

  • Fair play this is how democracy should work. The people of the uk need to wake up and vote for a party that actually listens to the people.

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