On Thursday 29 March 2018 I asked the Minister for International Trade if he would meet with representatives of the creative industries and hear their concerns about Brexit directly.

The clock is ticking.

Since Theresa May decided to invoke Article 50, we now have only one year left before we formally leave the European Union.

I’ve asked a series of questions to lots of different government departments about how we are going to protect one of our biggest growth sectors – the creative industries – from the effects of any change in our relationship with the European Union.

Today it was the Department for International Trade’s turn.

The minister’s response focused on (welcome) investment through the Creative Industries Sector Deal (announced yesterday – more details here) and funds to support small and medium-sized businesses in the music industry.

But this is about more than just money.

It’s about musicians, theatre groups and artists being able to travel easily and freely across Europe. It’s about TV and film production companies being able to shoot across different international locations when they’re on tight budgets and tight deadlines.

Money to support our creative sector is always welcome – but so too is security and peace of mind. And that’s what isn’t yet forthcoming from the government.

Thangam Debbonaire

Question 2 – If he will hold discussions with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and representatives of the creative industries on trade in that sector with EU countries after the UK leaves the EU.

Greg Hands (Minister for Trade Policy)

Yesterday the Government announced the creative industries sector deal. With a strategy and new money committed to boost our creative industries, trade and investment is a key part of that deal. Exports are booming in the sector, with £9.6 billion in services and £2.7 billion in goods in 2015, making this country a global leader.

Thangam Debbonaire

I refer the House to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests.

I thank the Minister for his answer, but the clock is ticking. Representatives of the live performance part of the creative industries tell me of their worries, based on current experience of touring theatre, dance and music outside the EU. Will he, like the DCMS Minister, the hon. Member for Stourbridge (Margot James), agree to meet representatives of the creative industries to discuss those significant challenges so that this massive growth sector of our economy can continue post-Brexit?

Greg Hands

My colleagues and I are always happy to meet representatives of the sector. The sector’s export growth, and its activity both in the European Union and beyond, is actually growing. Only 34% of the sector’s total global exports are to the EU. A huge amount is already being done outside the EU and, when it comes to things like music, DIT has committed to make about £3 million of grant support available to help music small and medium-sized enterprises to be able to export up to 2020.

You can watch the exchange here:

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