Vicky Ford MEP

Member of the European Parliament for the East of England

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11 NOV 2015

Zero Rating Practice

Mr President, every person in Europe has the right to access the online content they want and use the applications they wish without discrimination or interference, and all internet traffic must be treated equally. We have just agreed new rules across Europe that enshrine these principles into our law.But now the left wants to go further and to start picking and choosing what commercial offers individual companies can make. If a mobile phone company wants to offer free access to certain content, some consumers might want to choose that offer – consumers should have that choice. And in the traditional world this is totally acceptable. Every time I leave my home to do my food shopping, I can choose: do I go to the supermarket that charges me more but gives me a free newspaper, or do I go to the supermarket with a lower price but no free newspaper? That is my choice.

Of course, we need a fair marketplace, and we must make sure our competition laws are upheld. But this is why we have just empowered our national regulators to deal with anti-competitive behaviour. Introducing haphazard bans at will, without thinking through the impact or discussing their full consequence, is not the right way to approach the digital revolution.

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My Political Priorities

Economic Stability must come first. Without a strong economy we can not deliver a strong society. I work with businesses and consumers to keep Britain open for business, cutting red tape, boosting trade opportunities and helping to deliver jobs and growth for all.

I support Science and Research which is key to delivering better medical care and improved lifestyles for all our families.

Strong security is vital in today's uncertain world, which requires robust policing and defence and deep international relationships that we can depend on. I work with others to achieve this.

I care about the Countryside and the Environment and making sure that rural and urban communities flourish.