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Leaving the EU: Creative Industries

Volume 626: debated on Thursday 29 June 2017

2. What assessment she has made of the potential effect of the UK leaving the EU on the creative industries. (900075)

We want the best deal for Britain on leaving the European Union. The creative industries are some of the UK’s greatest strengths, and we want them to continue to thrive.

Given the importance of the creative industries to East Lothian—a major film location for films such as “The Railway Man” and “The BFG”—and the money they bring to the local economy, what discussions have been held with the Scottish Government regarding the impact of Brexit on the creative industries? What assurances can he give that the investment in the creative industries will continue after Brexit?

I have every confidence that the creative industries, which are one of our great strengths right across the country, including in Scotland—I was in Edinburgh on Monday talking to Creative Scotland and others—will continue to go from strength to strength, and we are determined to get a Brexit deal that works for them.

As the Minister knows, global businesses invest in the creative industries here because of the talent pool and attractive production tax credits that exist for video games, TV and films. Will he ensure that, outside the EU, the UK remains the leader in Europe for talent and attracting investment?

The hon. Member for Batley and Spen (Tracy Brabin) has an exactly identical question, and I would call her if she were standing—

11. Thank you so much, Mr Speaker. I have question 11, but it is a similar question. Figures from Screen Yorkshire show that Yorkshire’s fantastic film and TV industry has grown faster than that anywhere else in the UK. Much of this commendable growth has been generated by the European regional development fund-backed Yorkshire Content Fund, but the absence of a post-Brexit plan creates insecurity and could lead to job losses. What assurances can the Government give the industry that projects supported by European funding will not be not left to wither on the vine? (900084)

European funding has been part of the success of the film industry. The Treasury has already made it clear that that European funding will continue up to 2020, but that is only one part of this. The tax credits mentioned by my hon. Friend the Member for Folkestone and Hythe (Damian Collins), the Chairman of the Select Committee in the last Parliament, have played an incredibly important part. However, I would agree with the hon. Lady that, just like Scotland, Yorkshire is benefiting enormously from our booming film industry.

The growth of Dovetail Games in my constituency is a prime example of the UK’s flourishing creative industries. Could the Minister outline the support he plans to give to help creative hubs continue to develop over the exciting years ahead?

Video games are one of the most exciting areas of growth in the creative industries, doing an incredible thing for UK exports right across the country—in the south-east and all the way up to Scotland—and we will continue to back them.

Newspapers and the media are very much part of our creative industries, so, as we leave the EU, could the Minister explain what the Department’s policy is on the future of section 40 and Leveson 2, both of which are very relevant to the industry as it, too, prepares for Brexit?

As the hon. Gentleman knows, Conservative Members are strong supporters of the newspaper industry, especially local newspapers, which do not need extra costs from certain proposals. Given that we are such strong supporters of the newspaper industry, we have a consultation out on this issue, and I am sure he will look forward to the answer.

I leave others to judge whether the question was altogether apposite. I judged it orderly, but one thing is for sure: it was certainly creative.

In Scotland, as the Minister knows, we have a strong, innovative and vibrant creative sector, which is worth £4 billion to our economy and which employs 75,000 people, many of whom are EU nationals. With Brexit looming, what assurances can the Minister give the industry in Scotland, and indeed across the United Kingdom, that this country will still be able to attract and keep the creative talent that is so vital for the industry to work, perform and exhibit in this country free from unnecessary barriers?

As the hon. Gentleman knows, we have set out that we are seeking to do a deal to ensure the future of European Union nationals resident here. We are also open to the brightest and the best from around the world. But the single most important thing for keeping the creative industries thriving in Scotland is remaining part of the United Kingdom.