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Broadcasting Bill

Volume 496: debated on Monday 20 July 2009

The digital economy Bill is not one of those in the draft programme proposed for pre-legislative scrutiny. Many of its proposals were contained in the interim “Digital Britain” document that we published in January. They have been the subject of reports by Select Committees in both Houses, and we are currently consulting on the proposals made in the final report last month.

I thank the Secretary of State for that answer, and I welcome him to his new position. I am sorry that that Bill will not be in the pre-legislative programme, because if it were there would have been something for us to do in October and November before the Queen’s Speech. May I take it as read, however, that it will definitely be in the Queen’s Speech?

My hon. Friend will, of course, understand that we cannot at this stage say what will definitely be in the Queen’s Speech—we cannot do so until Her Majesty stands up and delivers her Gracious Speech—but given that it is in the draft programme and it has been heralded by the Government as one of the mainstays of our active industrial strategy, I think he can be fairly confident that it has good prospects of being there.

Given the possibility that such a Bill might be in the legislative programme, will the Secretary of State confirm that it will cover access to foreign language stations after the digital switchover for radio coverage?