Time is running out for the controversial Digital Economy Bill to become law after Gordon Brown today called for the dissolution of parliament for a 6 May election.
The second reading of the Bill is due to begin this afternoon, and politicians are likely to have until Thursday at the latest to debate the proposed legislation.
This means that it could be rushed into law during the 'wash-up' period on Wednesday and Thursday, or parliament will simply run out of time to bring the Bill in, according to Robin Fry, a partner at law firm Beachcroft LLP.
"The debate during the wash-up is something of a free-for-all and it's possible the government will not be able to get all the outstanding Bills, around 16, through the process in time," he said.
"It could drop the most controversial aspects of the Bill, such as the disconnection policy under Clause 18, but that would still see the Bill being rushed in without full debate which would not be an ideal situation for anyone, " he said.
Other Bills the government needs to debate include the Crime and Security Bill, which contains controversial clauses to allow the DNA of acquitted suspects to be held for six years.
Fry added that, while the Liberal Democrats do not have enough seats to stop the Bill becoming law, they could cause the debate to overrun and in that way stop it achieving the Royal Assent it needs to become law.
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