§ 11. Mr. St. Aubyn
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he is taking to ensure that future legislation on electronic commerce is able to cope with evolving technology. 
§ Ms Hewitt
The Electronic Communications Bill, which will be introduced into Parliament in the next Session, is intended to be technology neutral. Firstly, it will start the process of ensuring that electronic transactions are given the same legal status as paper ones. Secondly it will establish a flexible legal framework which is capable of adapting to different ways of doing electronic commerce and different methods of ensuring authentication, integrity and confidentiality of information. Our policies are designed to increase our competitiveness by promoting electronic commerce, not a particular technology.
§ 24. Dr. George Turner
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the development of electronic commerce in the UK; and what steps he is taking to ensure that the UK is the best place in the world for such commerce. 
§ Mr. Waterson
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions he has had with the European Commission about the regulation of e-commerce; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Ms Hewitt
On 12 October I had a meeting in Brussels with Erkki Liikanen, Commissioner for Enterprise and the Information Society. We discussed and agreed on the need for a market-led regulatory framework for electronic commerce; the actual and potential contribution of274W e-commerce to competitiveness in Europe, particularly that of SMEs; and the importance of ensuring close co-ordination of e-commerce related initiatives.