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Re: [Fsuk-manchester] Trump and software freedom

From: John Rooke
Subject: Re: [Fsuk-manchester] Trump and software freedom
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2018 07:43:46 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:52.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/52.9.1

On 17/09/18 21:26, Leah Rowe wrote:

we have more chance of democratizing the house of lords (or abolishing
it completely) and a better chance of influencing parliament in the UK.

the EU parliament is pretty much powerless

Changes to the House of Lords will really be of no help at this stage in the game. The legislation currently going through Parliament is designed to minimise the input from both Houses into the process of agreeing trade deals. Unless the Trade Bill can be amended, the process will be even more secretive and undemocratic than it is currently in the EU. A democratic second chamber is no doubt desirable, but it will come too late to affect the issues we are discussing.

Under the current system, a negotiated trade deal is presented to Parliament signed sealed and delivered. Parliament has, I believe, three weeks to 'object' (an obscure process which nobody seems to know much about) in which case the deal can be delayed for a few weeks.

My experience of lobbying Afzal Khan, first as an MEP, then as an MP, is that he was much more receptive while he was in the European Parliament. My impression is that MPs are under much tighter control by their political parties, who have many more perks to offer them, than they do to the MEPs. Khan is now a shadow minister and he will not do anything unless it has been approved by the leadership. Of course, you may have an MP who is a 'rebel', but then the issue, if it is taken up, becomes a political football, a pawn in the game to change the leadership. Frankly, with the other things that are going on, I don't think MPs give much of a damn about software freedom issues.

The EU Parliament is not powerless. It has the power to stop the Copyright Directive. If they pass the Directive and it becomes part of British law, or worse, of a post-Brexit trade treaty between the UK and Europe, there will IMHO be very little we can do.


John Rooke

Wittgenstein's Builders Blog <http://jalfro.altervista.org>

Trade Action Blog <https://tradeactionblog.wordpress.com>

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