Amendment 33

Part of Trade Bill - Report (2nd Day) – in the House of Lords at 6:45 pm on 13th March 2019.

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Photo of Baroness O'Neill of Bengarve Baroness O'Neill of Bengarve Crossbench 6:45 pm, 13th March 2019

My Lords, in the absence of my noble friends Lord Bilimoria and Lord Hannay, I shall move Amendment 33. This is yet another amendment on trade in the cultural industries, which have become a very important export sector, with the distinctive feature that some of the exports, in particular educational services, bring people to this country rather us sending goods to other countries.

The amendment seeks to improve the statistical basis for estimating the value of overseas students coming to this country. At present, the way it is estimated is not very satisfactory. Statistics are produced by the ONS, which calculated it as £7.2 billion, and by the DfE, which calculated it as £19.9 billion. That is quite a big gap. The aim of the amendment is to improve the statistics, making it easier to set an export target for this sector. There is a clear need for complete and unambiguous information. Although the students do the travelling, the educational services are a valuable export in which this country has an important place. We have targets set, but it does not make very much sense to set targets until one has clarity about the metrics. This amendment is about the metrics and getting the target right. I beg to move.