This week the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), and specifically the regulation of e-cigarettes, were finally debated in Westminster. On Monday a small number of handpicked MPs met in European Committee C to debate the TPD and then on Tuesday members of the House of Lords, in a debate secured by Viscount Astor, debated the regulation of electronic cigarettes. The debate in the House of Commons lasted just over half an hour while the Lords debate lasted an hour. So the TPD was formally debated by MPs and Peers for the sum total of one and a half hours! Before we even consider the quality of these debates, this fact alone should cause us all to worry. The TPD will have a huge impact on the lives of vapers. Every MP will have hundreds or thousands of vapers as constituents and they could only find 30 minutes, the day before the negotiations in Brussels were due to conclude, to debate this vitally important Directive. This is a disgraceful dereliction of duty on the part of our elected representatives.
You will find included in this post, for your viewing pleasure, videos of the two debates. Please do watch them, after all it won’t take very long!
There is a stark difference in quality between the two debates. It is not for us to tell you want to think, but the fact that we published in full, earlier today, a transcript of Viscount Ridley’s contribution to the Lords debate, and have been unable to publish a similar transcript from any of the contributors to the Commons debate is a fair indication of which debate we considered to be of a higher quality.
http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=14470 starts 16:13:12
European Committee C Debate: