July's Political Intelligence
Fashion in Parliament: The Latest News
Fashion in Parliament: The Latest News
Intellectual Property in Parliament – The chair of the Fashion and Textiles APPG, Dr. Lisa Cameron MP, brought a question of particular importance to our industry this month. In his answer, the DExEU minister confirmed that current EU trademarks would continue to be honoured in the UK, after we have left the EU in March 2019.
Freedom of Movement in Parliament - Dr. Cameron has two parliamentary questions: one verbal and one written on this. To PM Theresa May in the Chamber, she asked for clarification that services of fashion industry workers would also be protected from delays which would negatively impact on our opportunities to work abroad, to which Theresa May highlighted that there will be assurances coming soon. Dr. Cameron also asked the Home Office a written question on our behalf questions on the freedom of movement for fashion creatives post Brexit to which Caroline Nokes MP Minister of State for the Home Office replied: "The Government is considering a range of options for the future immigration system... We will make decisions on the future immigration system based on evidence and engagement. That is why we have asked the independent Migration Advisory Committee to advise on the economic and social impacts of the UK’s exit from the EU. When building the new system, various aspects including the creative sector will be taken into account, to ensure the future immigration system works for sectors. We will set out proposals later this year."
European Programmes in Parliament - Dr Cameron also sought reassurances that the UK would continue to participate in European programmes important for our SMEs, to which Margot James the Minister of State for DCMS replied: "The creative industries contributed £91.8 billion to the economy in 2016, and the government recognises the important role of SMEs in this success.
Under the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK will continue to benefit from EU programmes such as Creative Europe until the end of the current period (until 2020). The White Paper published on 12 July states that the Government is open to looking at continued participation in programmes, such as Creative Europe. As part of the Sector Deal published in March, government is also looking at securing the sector’s future prosperity and growth and will invest more than £150 million across the lifecycle of creative businesses." Dr. Cameron is very much an ally to the work of Fashion Roundtable, and our work as the secretariat for the APPG ensures in turn we are able to highlight the needs of our industry to policy makers.
The People’s Vote Campaign already gathering strong momentum outside of Parliament has worked its way into the Chamber, via Rupa Huq (Lab – Ealing Central and Acton) during Prime Minister’s questions. Although mentioned, it appears that the Government’s position is unchanged; there will be no second vote. It will be interesting to see how this position may change as time goes on and the March deadline comes closer. It is also interesting to note the Government’s unwillingness to refer to the campaign by its name ‘People’s Vote’ and instead stick strictly to ‘second referendum’ – perhaps this suggests a certain degree of concern?
Sector Involvement in Trade Bill – Formal amendments to the Trade Bill in Parliament this month, highlighted the now codified role that businesses and think tanks in sectors must play in the negotiation of new free trade agreements, following our departure from the EU. The writing officially states that all sectors affected by any negotiation, must be highlighted and published in advance of a negotiating mandate being created.
London Elections – Crime, Culture and Transport
We are fast approaching the London mayoral elections, which will see Sadiq Khan defend his record in power and take on one of three, yet to be decided, Conservative candidates. The focus of the election is likely to be crime, as knife deaths and general homicide cases continue to rise. However, now more than ever, the role of culture and infrastructure investment must be portrayed effectively in the battle against crime and its increasingly youthful perpetrators. This is particularly important, as this election will select the captain who will sail London into its new post-Brexit reality.
This year, the Old Vic theatre celebrates its 200th year. Like many theatres in London, this iconic venue has been at the forefront of developing exciting new talent and ensuring this rich art is accessible and diverse. This landscape provides the perfect context to the cultural investment made by Sadiq Khan, since coming to office. Back in March, the Mayor of London launched his new ‘Culture Seeds’ programme, just one example of improved funding, which is set to release 1000 small value grants. This £1m pot of cash will be used to promote and grow grassroots cultural activities in communities that do not regularly benefit from cultural funding and is supported by institutions like Battersea Arts Centre.
The British Council and various pieces of academic research have consistently demonstrated the positive causal relationship between cultural investment in urban environments and a reduction in crime (particularly in low income communities and in areas with a high density of organised crime). Investment in culture is not just about more money; effective targeting and distribution is essential and that is where the fashion industry and Fashion Roundtable can play such an important role. The cost of not directly influencing an election has been felt credibly by leaders in our sector, ever since the results were announced in June 2016; we should not let this be the case again in 2020. To have your say, please email us at email@example.com