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MPs demand UK government end secrecy over ACTA

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MPs across the political spectrum are demanding that the UK government should release details regarding ongoing international negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

As we reported last week, UK.gov refused to give MPs access to papers on talks about copyright enforcement on the web and at national borders.

Since then, 12 MPs have signed Early Day Motion 700, which asks the government to release details of the negotiations to honourable members as soon as possible.

Last Wednesday junior minister David Lammy said he couldn’t put papers about ACTA in the House of Commons Library, because other countries wanted details of the talks kept secret.

"Disclosure of any documents without the agreement of all our ACTA negotiating partners would damage the United Kingdom's international relations,” said Lammy on 20 January.

On Sunday, Liberal Democrat shadow culture, media and sport secretary Don Foster, who tabled the EDM, wrote to Lord Mandelson demanding him to “come clean” on what the agreement could mean for UK legislation.

“Lord Mandelson must act to release the details of this agreement as soon as possible,” he said.

“Legislation on internet piracy is currently being debated in Parliament. Given that this agreement could override any decisions taken over the next few months, MPs have a right to know what is being decided.” ®

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