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Exports to EU: Art and Antiques

Volume 691: debated on Thursday 18 March 2021

What steps his Department is taking to help ensure that art and antiques can be easily exported to EU countries. (913589)

The UK has one of the world’s leading art markets and the free trade agreement we negotiated with the EU will allow it to flourish. We have taken steps to facilitate the export of cultural goods to EU countries. We have developed a new inland pre-clearance process for export licences for works of art, and we are digitising the export licensing system for cultural goods. Those steps will reduce border friction and avoid delays and security risks.

Notwithstanding the Minister’s incredibly helpful response, there are small businesses in the art and antiques market that are suffering from these teething problems, such as Dart Gallery in Dartmouth in my constituency. So what further steps are the Government going to take to ensure that there is a streamlined approach to exporting art and antiques in future years?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right to champion the businesses in his constituency. We care deeply about supporting them. That is why the Secretary of State met representatives of the art market only earlier this month to discuss issues. We will continue to work closely with the sector to ensure that it can keep trading smoothly with the EU. We recognise that this means a period of change for business at a time when everyone has been responding to the unprecedented pressures of the pandemic, but this is an unparalleled opportunity for the UK to do business differently and prosper. We will continue to support businesses to allow them to take all the opportunities.