HC Deb 27 July 1998 vol 317 cc50-1W
Mr. Gibb

To ask the President of the Board of Trade if she will make a statement about the future of the London art market. [50789]

Mr. Ian McCartney

The London art market is a highly successful international market. However, the Government are aware of concerns about its future. Ministers have met representatives of the art trade and understand their fears about the impact of existing, and proposed, European Union legislation. We have established a close liaison with the trade and maintain a regular dialogue with them. It is central to our policies that we should develop partnerships and work together.

We have always made it clear to the trade that the Government are committed to ensuring that London continues to prosper as a leading international art centre and that we will oppose proposals that could damage the international competitiveness of our art market in relation to third country markets. We will continue to ensure that the trade's views are taken account of in Brussels.