United-Kingdom

Meta seeks government protection from Rees-Mogg’s EU law bonfire | Meta

Facebook and Instagram have demanded government protection from Jacob Rees-Mogg’s fire for up to 4,000 EU laws on the post-Brexit statute books.

In a letter to a parliamentary committee due to be published on Friday, the parent group, Meta, is requesting that the laws underlying social media companies are either “expressly retained elsewhere” or “removed from the scope” of EU retained law (repeal and reform). ) law Project.

If not, groups such as Facebook would be “less likely to operate in the UK,” wrote Richard Earley, Meta’s UK public policy director.

Labor MP Stella Creasy said the bill could force social media companies out of the UK by accident.

“Many of us would like to hold social media companies accountable for how their platforms are being used. Shutting them down by default is not the way to do that, but Meta herself says this is possible because of the government’s REUL bill.”

Representatives of private and public interest groups were invited to contribute to consultations on the bill earlier in November as criticism poured in from organizations ranging from the Institute of Directors to trade unions including Unison and TUC and the Chartered Trade Standards Institute (CTSI), an organization dedicated to protecting consumer health. And his safety.

In a letter published Friday, CTSI called on the government to delay the bill warning there were 250 pieces of “vital legislation” covering food and product safety, animal health and welfare, fair trade, rogue trade and predation, and legal standards. – A system of imposing weights and measures so that consumers get what they pay for.

CTSI says its survey showed the public was most concerned that food standards would be affected by the bill.

It also found that tackling EU law was last on the list of priorities for voters who were most concerned about the cost of living and the NHS. The controversial bill was the brainchild of former business secretary Rhys Mogg.

The bill is in committee stage in the House of Commons. He proposes deleting as many as 4,000 laws covering everything from animal testing of cosmetics to holiday fare payments and passenger compensation rights, unless they are actively saved by a minister. It has been widely criticized as “reckless” and “anti-democratic” by legal experts due to the unprecedented powers it gives to ministers.

The speed with which the government wants to move forward with the bill, introduced in September by Rhys-Mogg, when he was business minister, has also been criticized.

Under the so-called lapse clause, all EU laws that have not been amended or updated by December 31, 2023 will automatically be suspended.

This week, the government’s independent expert called the bill “not fit for purpose”.

Ereli wrote to the committee to draw its attention to a set of laws derived from the E-Commerce Regulations (European Commission Directives) 2002 that are at risk of change or deletion.

The laws contain provisions known as “mediator liability” that protect social media companies from being liable for user conduct and content.

Including the e-commerce directive in the scope of the bill “would cause serious concerns,” Early wrote.

He said that if protections for social media operations are not maintained, the “end effect” is that platforms and websites will be “less desirable to operate in the UK and may hold back from making the UK a hub for innovative new products and services in the way the government envisions”.

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