The Digital Economy Bill’s passage through Parliament may not be as quick and easy as we’ve been lead to believe, with Commons Leader Harriet Harman assuring that there is “no rush” to get the DEB made into law.
Amongst the many things debated at yesterday’s DEB Commons gathering, many MPs expressed their concern that the need for speed has prevented proper debate of the Bill.
“It is a disgrace that the House is not treated with courtesy by the Government,” Conservative MP John Redwood stated. “It is quite wrong that a Bill of such importance and magnitude was not tabled earlier. It is quite wrong that there is an attempt to rush through all parts of the Bill without proper scrutiny and debate.”
The Shadow Minister for Innovation, Science and Business Adam Afriyie added: “A single theme unifying the contributions from Back and Front Benches across the House is that the Government appear to be rushing through an important piece of legislation without due scrutiny in the House of Commons.
“After 13 years of digital dithering, this Bill is all they have to show on the digital front. It is a missed opportunity of massive proportions. Not only is it discourteous to rush such a significant measure through Parliament in the dying days of a failed Government, but it is also incompetent.”
However, the Press Association claims Harman added that the DEB could well be passed in the wash-up period – the time between when a General Election is announced and takes place – with a period of consultation possibly resulting in later amendments.