E-commerce and IT will be at the centre of the next election campaign according to the leader of the opposition, William Hague.
Speaking at the Conservative E-Business Conference, Hague said the last Conservative Government "had already delivered the foundations for the e-revolution," and claimed the future success of e-business depended on the implementation of Tory policies.
Hague said he was "profoundly sceptical about the extent to which the new global economy should be, or can effectively be, regulated or taxed." He promised a war on over-regulation to make Britain more competitive in an age of e-business and trade without frontiers.
A key theme identified was that Internet access in Britain was more expensive and slower than in the US and much of Europe.
"The Government and media are talking about the cost of access between the ISPs and consumers," said Hague. "There seems to be much less debate about telecom providers and the control they wield over the Internet backbone."
Other issues highlighted by Hague were the need for regulation to keep pace with technology.
"It does not help that for each method of delivery of Internet by telephone wire, satellite, radio-waves, cable, digital and analogue broadcasting, there is a different set of regulators," he said