What does the General Election mean for the IAB’s policy priorities?

Posted on Thursday 23 May 2024 | IAB UK

Beth Rogers, IAB UK’s Public Policy Manager, summarises what the impending election means for the progress of our regulatory priorities - from the DPDI Bill to the Online Advertising Taskforce


Update, 6 June 2024:

  • The Digital Markets, Competition & Consumer Bill has received Royal Assent and become the Digital Markets, Competition & Consumer Act 2024
  • The Data Protection & Digital Information Bill did not complete its Parliamentary passage before Parliament was dissolved, meaning that it has fallen. It will be up to the next government to decide whether to bring the Bill back to Parliament, and in what form. If the Bill is brought back, it will be treated as new legislation and will start its parliamentary journey from the beginning

 

It’s official - a rain-soaked Rishi has fired the starting pistol on what is guaranteed to be frenetic weeks of campaigning before we head to the polls on the 4 July. But as the country weighs up whether things really can only get better, our Public Policy Manager, Beth Rogers, takes a look at what will happen next - including how the impending election impacts the IAB’s and our members’ policy priorities in the short-term. Over to Beth. 
 

What we know…

With the election little over a month away, Parliament will be dissolved on Friday 24 May, which (at the time I’m writing) gives the Government only one day to pass its remaining legislation. The Government will now aim to expedite key Bills by reaching rapid agreement with the other parties - known as ‘the wash up’ - to ensure they complete their passage and become law before the end of this week. 

Any Bills that do not achieve consensus and do not make it through the wash-up will ‘fall’ and it will be up to the next Government to decide whether to re-introduce them. Any legislation that is brought back in the next Parliamentary session can be amended by the new Government and treated as ‘new’ legislation - meaning that it will need to pass through every stage of the legislative process.

Our initial understanding at this stage is that the Data Protection and Digital Information (DPDI) Bill will fall due to the level of opposition it has faced. However, the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers (DMCC) Bill, which was at a more advanced stage, has now been passed. We will confirm the status of both Bills as soon as we know more.
 

Entering the pre-election period

We now enter the ‘pre-election’ period, sometimes referred to as ‘purdah’. During this period, Government departments will not make any significant public policy announcements or appointments - unless they are deemed to be essential and in ‘the national interest’.

That means that we now do not expect any announcements on the status of the Online Advertising Programme legislation consultation or HFSS secondary legislation until the next Government is in place.

As the Online Advertising Taskforce is a non-legislative initiative, this is likely to continue in some form - although there will now be no Ministerial meetings until after the election. We will update members when we know more.
 

And the manifestos?

Parties usually publish their manifestos around three weeks before polling day (in this case around the 10 June), though this could happen sooner. Rumour has it that Labour will issue their manifesto first.

We have already written to the three main parties to inform their thinking about approaches to digital regulation and we will share a summary of the main manifestos and what they could mean for our industry once they are published.

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