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Creative Industries

Volume 649: debated on Thursday 15 November 2018

4. What steps he is taking to protect the creative industries in any future trade agreements after the UK leaves the EU. (907613)

6. What steps he is taking to protect the creative industries in any future trade agreements after the UK leaves the EU. (907616)

The UK is home to a world-leading creative industries sector, which we will continue to support as part of our modern and ambitious trade policy. UK creative industries exported £40.2 billion of goods and services in 2016, and we recently completed a public consultation that will inform our future approach in trade agreements.

Can the Secretary of State reassure the creative industries that professional equipment such as musical instruments will not be subject to additional documentation requirements and tariffs at the border?

That is exactly what we are seeking to achieve in the agreement the Prime Minister reaches—I take it that the hon. Gentleman is referring to the European market. Not only do we want to secure continued tariff-free EU access, but we want further liberalisation so that we increase potential global trade, too.

Can the Secretary of State confirm that trade in the creative industries of the EU will benefit from reciprocity of regulation on licensing and collective rights management?

On services, we want an open and liberal arrangement with the European Union that goes well beyond the current World Trade Organisation commitments that both sides have, so we will want not just continuity of liberalisation, but an increase.

May I make a particular plea for the gaming sector so that BAFTA-winning companies such as Wales Interactive, which is in my constituency, can continue to thrive, whether we do or do not leave the European Union?

We will be leaving the European Union. It is important to note that sometimes the creative industries sector is generally underappreciated for the contribution it makes to the earnings of this country, not only through exports—I mentioned the £40.2 billion of goods and services exports—but through the income it generates for the United Kingdom. It is an important sector, which is why we put it at the heart of not only our industrial policy, but our trade policy.

The Society of Authors has called on the Government to ensure that copyright is not used as a bargaining chip in trade negotiations. Any future deals must ensure that international copyright treaties are applied by the book; anything else would risk damaging this important and iconic sector. Will the Secretary of State still be here to reassure British authors, the reading public and other creative industries that our gold standard copyright regime will be protected post Brexit?

I should probably declare an interest as someone who has published a book and receives royalties, and who takes an interest in copyright. I and all Secretaries of State will be here to ensure that copyrights are protected.