Wednesday, 4 July 2012

ACTA - The Rasputin of Legislation!

The European Commission has attracted huge criticism for the way in which it has conducted negotiations over the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

There have been questions raised over the involvement of commercial interests, and negotiations that have taken place behind closed doors. This has attracted more correspondence from worried constituents than any other issue. From restricted internet use to lack of availability of affordable medicines in developing countries, ACTA has upset a lot of people.

I am pleased to say that MEPs today voted to reject ACTA: a great victory for freedom of speech and the rights of people in those developing nations.

Not every British MEP, however, shares those values, and below I name and shame them:

Bill Newton Dunn, of the Lib Dems voted in favour of approving ACTA

The British Conservatives tried to prevent the vote, and backed a bid to return ACTA to committee. When the bid was overwhelmingly defeated and the matter went to a vote, the Conservatives abstained.

Here I would mention that there have been serious allegations of attempts by powerful commercial interests to prevent the rejection of ACTA.

It is also worth mentioning that after the vote, a spokesman confirmed that the European Commission still intends to keep ACTA on the agenda-. So much for democracy in the EU!