Audio-visual Industry: EU Law

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 27th March 2018.

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Photo of Andrew Lewer Andrew Lewer Conservative, Northampton South

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to replace the provisions of the Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014 to ensure that the distribution of content across borders is possible after the UK leaves the EU.

Photo of Margot James Margot James The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

The Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014 was introduced to regulate R18-rated video-on-demand content and ban the provision of video-on-demand material that has been or would be refused a classification by the British Board of Film Classification. The Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014 amended the Communications Act 2003, which is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and will thus continue to apply after we exit the EU. We will use the powers within the Withdraw Bill to ensure that the content in question is still regulated after we leave the EU.

Cross-border broadcasting is currently regulated by the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) which allows the UK-based broadcasting licensees to broadcast freely into the EU. In her Mansion House speech earlier this month, the Prime Minister stated that the UK should “explore creative options with an open mind, including mutual recognition which would allow for continued transfrontier broadcasting.” We understand that this will be a difficult negotiation, but remain absolutely committed to securing the best possible deal for the UK and for the broadcasting sector. We are determined to ensure that our future relationship with the EU recognises the enriching role that British broadcasters and content producers play not only in the UK but also in our common European culture.

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