The United Kingdom government (with Tony Blair as prime minister) had come to the conclusion that encryption, encryption services and electronic signatures would be important to e-commerce in the UK.
By 1999, however, only the security services still hankered after key escrow. So a "sunset clause" was put in the bill. The May 2000 Electronic Communications Act gave the Home Office the power to create a registration regime for encryption services. This was given a five-year period before it would automatically lapse.
The five years expired in May 2005 and the legislation granting such a power disappeared from the statute book.