Digital Economy Bill [ Lords]

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 4:27 pm on 6th April 2010.

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Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport 4:27 pm, 6th April 2010

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.

It is important to acknowledge at the outset that the timing of our Second Reading debate is unusual, as I think that we would all accept, and I shall set out more detail about that in a minute. The substance of what we are considering, however, is how we protect and build on the great British success stories that are our digital and creative sectors. The United Kingdom is now No. 1 in the world in those sectors, measured as a proportion of our gross domestic product. The creative industries have grown at twice the rate of the economy as a whole over the past 10 years, and they should do so again over the next 10, thus helping to create many of the jobs of the future. The speed of that growth has been more than matched by the speed of technological change. Many of us will be carrying communications devices that we could not have imagined even five years ago. Hon. Members might even be using them as I speak, given that the rules in this place were sensibly relaxed a few years ago.

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