Tell us which laws to scrap, urges Clegg

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Inviting the public to nominate unnecessary laws they would like to see repealed is a move away from "the old way of doing things", Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said today.

He is launching the Government's Your Freedom website at which people will be able to propose ways to get rid of pointless regulation and unnecessary bureaucracy and reduce state intrusion into everyday life.

He told BBC Breakfast: "We are turning things on its head. The traditional way of doing things is that government tells people what to do.

"That is the old way of doing things. We are saying, 'Tell us what you don't want us to do'."

Mr Clegg said letting dormant laws accumulate on the statute book sends out the "wrong signal" and there is plenty of "old stuff" that should be dropped.

He said the previous government had gone too far in invading people's privacy.

He said: "Did that make us safer? No, it didn't necessarily make us safer, so we've got to get the balance right."

He said that from today any minister who proposes a new regulation will also have to propose an existing law to be taken off the statute book.

He said: "It's a one in, one out rule."

Ideas submitted in the online consultation process will be taken into account in the drafting of a Freedom Bill to be published this autumn with the aim of rolling back unnecessary regulation.

Speaking in London today, Mr Clegg will urge members of the public to be "demanding" about their liberties and their rights.

"What I find especially exciting about this project is that, now we have got the ball rolling, the debate is totally out of government's control," he is expected to say.

"Real democracy is unspun - it is the raucous, unscripted debates that always throw up the best ideas.

"So be demanding about your liberty, be insistent about your rights. This is about your freedom, and this is your chance to have your say."

The website at www.hmg.gov.uk/yourfreedom will ask citizens three questions:

* Which current laws would you like to remove or change because they restrict your civil liberties?

* Which regulations do you think should be removed or changed to make running your business or organisation as simple as possible?

* Which offences do you think we should remove or change and why?

Participants will be able to comment on and rate ideas submitted to the site, with Whitehall departments responding to the most popular proposals.

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