The Digital Economy Bill has passed its second reading in the House of Commons, and looks likely to be enacted into law before the forthcoming election.
The Bill received a last-minute show of support from the Conservative Party during a sparsely attended debate. Shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt said that the legislation is flawed but should be passed.
The Liberal Democrats opposed the Bill and were joined by many MPs, including Labour's Tom Watson and the Conservative Party's Roger Gale.
While the huge campaign to stop the Bill has suffered a setback, the government has made some limited concessions. Harriet Harman, leader of the House of Commons, promised that the legislation would be amended after the election in light of several key concerns.
These include the controversial plans to cut off internet users accused of piracy and a requirement for ISPs to disconnect sites believed to be providing pirated material.
The Bill will now go to the committee stage, and then a third reading tomorrow afternoon before being passed into law.
The Bill is likely to be one of the last to be made into law before the election. There are eight outstanding bills, and sufficient time to pass just one or two.
Labour has dropped plans to abolish hereditary peers, change the first-past-the-post election system, modernise procedures at the House of Commons and cap the fees lawyers can charge in 'no win no fee' cases.
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