Select Committee on European Union Minutes of Evidence


Examination of Witness (Questions 120 - 127)

WEDNESDAY 9 FEBRUARY 2000

MR JOHN BROWNING

  120. Maybe we can make a link with you to let your partners know about it.

  A. I am more than happy to.

Lord Woolmer of Leeds

  121. It is not simply that these are the problems, like options and so on, but to indicate why they are problems and the way in which action would help with the use of them. In a sense, the agenda you are talking about, understandably, is different from the agenda that our first presenter today was perfectly legitimately talking about. You are saying that looked at from the ground up there are some concrete areas where concrete action would help European entrepreneurs.

  A. Yes.

Lord Skelmersdale

  122. You are also saying, are you not, that there are perfectly good laws around the countries of Europe which, in terms of their exploitation in the Internet, are not being properly enforced?

  A. Yes.

Chairman

  123. Could I leave a final point with you and perhaps you would give a report of this down the line to some of your people, that if perhaps you might let them have sight of the questions we put to you it may stimulate some thoughts?

  A. Okay. My one fear in setting up those questions is that we are very broad and we will get a lot of discourse. You will have a lot of e-mail to read. I am more than happy to do it. If there are more specific questions we can certainly put something up on the Web.

  124. I am sorry. It may be that we did not get a list of questions to you in advance.

  A. I did have a note from Patrick.

  125. But not this one. We did not stick to them, but it might help us if you had a look at the questions and then we can be more focused.

  A. That is fine.

  Lord Woolmer of Leeds: If that is the case we ought to allow Mr Browning's company to select one or two that they think the most relevant.

  Lord Chadlington: I wonder, Chairman, would it be possible for us to ask these 30,000 entrepreneurs a couple of questions?

  Chairman: That is what he is saying.

  Lord Chadlington: And are there not two quite distinct areas that we might consider? The first has to do with what are the impediments to you building your businesses at an appropriate rate, and secondly, a question about how do we protect in our society (what steps could government take to protect) people from being exploited through the Internet either by pornography or by illegal activities or by medicines of the kind we have mentioned? Are those not the two areas which would appear to be coming out of some of this discussion?

Chairman

  126. We particularly would like a European angle as well.

  A. I have scribbled down some notes, but perhaps we should exchange some e-mails to agree some wording.

  127. We will do that. Is there anything more you would like to say to us?

  A. I could go on about some of these questions which are very good questions. There is probably not much point because I do not think I would add much to what we have already said. I think you have asked what you are concerned about. If there is anything else you have my e-mail. I look forward to being in touch.

  Chairman: Thank you very much for writing to us and for coming. It has been a fascinating afternoon. Thank you also for the work you have promised to do when you leave the room.





 
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