Draft Films (Definition of “British Film”) (No. 2) Order 2006

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The Chairman: Order. Before I call Mr. Vaizey to intervene, which the Minister has generously allowed, I remind the Committee that this is not a rerun of the Single European Act debate.
Mr. Vaizey: The entire thrust of my remark was simply to point out the Minister’s incompetence in not checking with the European Commission. He has told us that the Commission was closely involved from September 2005 until March 2006 and that an order, which has now been changed, was passed by the Government. The Minister consistently refuses to say why the order has been changed. Is it because the Commission wants it changed or because of a policy change by the Government?
Mr. Woodward: The hon. Gentleman needs to be reminded one more time that the dialogue with the Commission began at the end of 2005 and continued throughout this year. When my predecessor brought the order before the House in March, we had submitted it and we were in dialogue with the Commission. We believed at that stage that it would be the end of the matter. As it happens, it needed revision. If the hon. Gentleman is asking whether the Government feel that something has been lost in that, we do not. We believe, based on the consultation that we carried out with the industry—we knew exactly what the industry wanted at the end of last year—that we must achieve a sustainable position with the Commission that will ensure that we will have a long-term film industry. Even if the hon. Gentleman would like otherwise, that will not be achieved by cheating the principles of the single market. I commend the order to the Committee.
The Chairman: Order. At this point, I would like to say “It’s a wrap”, rather than “Order, Order”.
Question put and agreed to.
That the Committee has considered the draft Films (Definition of “British Film”) (No.2) Order 2006.
Committee rose at four minutes to Six o’clock.
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