Wednesday 23 September 2020
Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee
The fourth meeting of the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee will take place on 28 September 2020 in Brussels, with delegations attending in person and by video conference.
The meeting will be co-chaired by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Right hon. Michael Gove MP and Vice President of the European Commission, Mr Maroš Šefčovič.
The agenda will include three items:
Introduction and opening remarks from co-chairs
Stocktake of Specialised Committee meetings
Update on withdrawal agreement implementation
Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland
Protocol on Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus
Protocol on Gibraltar
AOB and concluding remarks the UK delegation will include:
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Rt Hon. Michael Gove MP
The Paymaster General, Rt Hon. Penny Mordaunt MP
Representatives from the Northern Ireland Executive have also been invited to form part of the UK delegation.
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Loot Boxes: Call for Evidence
I am today launching a call for evidence on loot boxes in video games. I want to understand fully the existing research and concerns around loot boxes including any evidence of links to gambling-like behaviour and problem gambling amongst young people. This fulfils a commitment the Government announced on 8 June as part of their response to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee’s report on immersive and addictive technologies.
The Government take concerns around potential harms from loot boxes seriously. This open call for evidence will seek detailed information on the impact of loot boxes on players, particularly children and young people, examining concerns that loot boxes may encourage gambling-like behaviour and lead to problem gambling, as well as examining the size and scale of the loot box market in the UK, and the impact of current voluntary and statutory protections. The call for evidence will also seek information on the direct experiences of video games players and adults responsible for children and young people who play video games.
In 2019, the Government committed to review the Gambling Act with a particular focus on tackling issues around online loot boxes. The results from the call for evidence will be considered alongside the review of the Gambling Act and will inform future actions in regard to loot boxes. The Government stand ready to take action should the outcomes of the call for evidence support taking a new approach to ensure users, and particularly young people, are better protected.
The Government continue to support the growth of the video games sector in the UK, recognising that video games bring great economic, cultural and social benefits. Over half the UK population plays games, the vast majority engaging safely with content that allows them to enjoy fun, exciting play, find moments of relaxation, socialise and learn new skills. The video games sector, a key part of the UK’s world-leading creative industries, is also a cutting edge creator and adopter of innovative new technologies, and a provider of highly skilled creative jobs.
However, evolving digital technologies such as video games also present new responsibilities to ensure that users, particularly children and vulnerable people, are not exposed to harm.
I believe the call for evidence the Government are launching today is an important step towards gathering the evidence required to ensure we can support the further growth of this innovative and important industry while protecting users.
The call for evidence document will be available on gov.uk.