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Leaving the EU: Creative Industries

Volume 621: debated on Thursday 9 February 2017

3. What assessment she has made of the potential effect of the UK leaving the EU on the creative industries. (908718)

The Government want to ensure the best deal for Britain on leaving the European Union and to provide as much certainty as we can. The creative industries are one of the UK’s greatest success stories, contributing more than £87 billion to the economy and more than £19 billion in exports. I am confident that that will continue when we leave the European Union, and we have been working with the industry to ensure that that is the case.

I am sure the Secretary of State has her favourite rock band, so could she assure us that the Government are taking steps to ensure that increased carnet costs and work visa requirements do not kill off UK musicians’ ability to tour European venues post-Brexit?

It has been pointed out by hon. Friends behind me that we have moved from brass bands to rock bands—that was a nice segue by the hon. Gentleman. The point is that the UK music industry is a global leader—it is a leader not just in 27 European Union countries, but around the world. It is British bands that are touring around the world. I understand the hon. Gentleman’s point, and I am working closely with the industry to ensure that we get the very best deal for British music not only in Europe, but around the world.

13. The EU is a source of crucial funding for the creative sector—Scottish organisations have received more than £12 million from Creative Europe since 2014—but there has been absolutely no word from the Government about what will happen to that source of funding after the UK leaves the EU. Will the Secretary of State give a clear commitment that creative industries will not be worse off as a result of the UK leaving? (908728)

My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has committed to securing funding until 2020, which is after the UK will leave the European Union. I am working closely with the industry and across Government to make sure that we get the right deal for Britain so that we have the support needed to ensure that our creative industries flourish.

When I look at the stylish men and women on the Government Front Bench, I think that each and every one of them—except, perhaps, the Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, the hon. Member for Reading East (Mr Wilson)—could be models on the catwalk at London fashion week. The fashion industry is concerned that, as the UK leaves the EU, we will lose the right to protect original designs, which would have serious knock-on effects for trade showcases, including fashion week. Will the Secretary of State tell us what the Government are doing to make sure that our designers’ intellectual property rights are protected post-Brexit?

The hon. Gentleman asks a very timely question not only because fashion week is coming up, but because the Minister of State and I met the fashion industry only on Monday to discuss exactly those points. I reassure him and the fashion industry that, because the great repeal Bill will bring European rules into UK law, therefore making sure that there is no cliff edge, those rights will be protected.

Last week, the Culture, Media and Sport Committee took evidence from John Kampfner and others representing the creative industries. Some of those industries employ a 40% EU workforce, and these people are now in limbo. What reassurances can the Secretary of State give that their roles and livelihoods are secure?

I pay tribute to the work of the Creative Industries Federation, led by John Kampfner, and the role that it has played in working with the Government to develop our plan to ensure that we get the right deal for the creative industries when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union. The hon. Gentleman will also know that my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has been very clear that she wants an early settlement on the matter of EU nationals in the UK, and UK nationals living in Europe. She is working hard, as we all are across Government, to ensure that we can achieve that as soon as possible.