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GREAT Campaign

Volume 582: debated on Tuesday 17 June 2014

The GREAT Britain and Northern Ireland campaign is now deployed in 144 countries in support of jobs and growth for the United Kingdom. We expect activity conducted in 2013-14 to deliver between £600 million and £800 million to the British economy, and the target for this financial year is £1 billion.

It is also interesting to note that the value of the top 50 brands in the UK has increased to £37 billion over the past year, and that some of that is attributable to the GREAT campaign. Can my hon. Friend confirm that the campaign has the support of all three main parties, and that the Government intend it to continue?

Having subjected the campaign to an independent assessment, we intend to commit ourselves to continuing it, and to increasing our support by 50% over the next two years. It is worth pointing out that trade activities related to the campaign have supported the export plans of more than 1,150 United Kingdom companies. By any measure, it is hugely successful: one might even go so far as to say that it is a great initiative.

All national campaigns need to be memorable, and emphasising the “Great” in Great Britain strikes the right note for this country and for my constituents. Will my right hon. Friend join me in congratulating one company—Crockett & Jones, a shoemaker in my constituency—on exporting very high-quality products to markets all over the world, including the United States and Japan, thereby increasing the number of jobs in my constituency and improving trade for this country?

Having promoted, through the GREAT campaign, tuk-tuks in Phnom Penh, Lush cosmetics in Mexico City, British brands through The Beatles, and Bloomingdale’s in New York, I am more than happy to promote Crockett & Jones, and to pay tribute to my hon. Friend for the tireless work that he does on behalf of Northamptonshire shoemakers. There is, of course, no “one size fits all”, but I am sure that we can fit Crockett & Jones into our global campaign.

As the Minister sits in his tuk-tuk, he will know that one of the essential parts of this campaign is talking about British values. How would he define British values, and how is he going to face the Home Secretary, to tell her the campaign has been so successful and that so many people want to come to Britain that she cannot meet her immigration target?

As the right hon. Gentleman knows, one reason why so many people from around the world wish to come to the United Kingdom is the excellent shape of the British economy, which is a direct result of the early action taken by this Government. He, like others, will no doubt be supporting our long-term economic plans.