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Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 8th January 2018.

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Photo of Deidre Brock Deidre Brock Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Devolved Government Relations), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Fair Work and Employment), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Northern Ireland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans she has to maintain net neutrality after the UK leaves the EU; whether she plans to retain UK membership of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications after the UK leaves the EU; and whether her Department plans to maintain compliance with Regulation EU 2015/2120 after the UK leaves the EU.

Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

We will continue strongly to support a free and open internet, as the bedrock for a thriving and innovative digital economy. As such we strongly support our net neutrality rules, which work well to help ensure users, not internet companies, are in control.

As such, we are clear that users of internet services should be able to access the services they wish to, without unnecessary blocking or slowing down by providers. The UK is currently subject to net neutrality rules brought in through the EU Open Internet Access Regulation. In order to ensure the immediate continuity of legislation after we exit the EU, over the coming months the Government will be converting EU law into UK law through the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. This means that EU Regulation 2015/2120, which concerns open internet access, will continue to be in place after we leave the EU.

EU Regulation 1211/2009 establishing the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) is currently subject to review, as part of the recast of the EU Regulatory Framework for Electronic Communications. The Government is seeking a deep and special future partnership with the EU, and and no decisions have yet been made. Future membership of the EU’s agencies and bodies, including BEREC, will be subject to negotiations.

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