Leaving the EU: Tourism and the Creative Industries — [Mr Peter Bone in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:30 pm on 17th April 2018.

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Photo of Christine Jardine Christine Jardine Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Scotland) 2:30 pm, 17th April 2018

The hon. Lady makes a very good point. It would not be stretching the point too far to say that not only Scottish Ballet, but Scottish Opera and every single arts event staged at the Edinburgh International Festival and other festivals in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK may face that problem.

The hon. Lady is from Glasgow. It is interesting to consider whether Glasgow would have benefited from the cultural renaissance that it has since 1990 if it had not been able to host the capital of culture that year. I was brought up in Glasgow. The difference that that single year of cultural events and the gathering of the creative industries in the city made cannot be overestimated.

We need to look hard at what the industries are asking for. Measures such as touring passports for musicians, special equipment licences and support for arts development are all ways that they can be helped. The creative industries must be at the top table. Chris Evans suggested that they should be represented in the Brexit Department. Indeed, they should. Membership of Creative Europe and Erasmus must be maintained, and the UK Government must agree to replace EU funding sources. Access to talent must be protected, touring performers must have a single EU-wide work permit, and mutual recognition of qualifications must be protected—the list is long.

There is a much simpler way of protecting not just the creative industries and tourism but every single industry in this country: taking the first opportunity we have to rethink the Brexit position completely. We must consider whether it is in fact better for all our industries for us to take an exit from Brexit and to allow the British people to decide whether it is what they actually want. The control that they desired might give them the opportunity to say, “Yes, we want to stay within the European Union.”