The House of Lords Committee on Soft Power and the UK’s influence will next week question Ministers Maria Miller MP and Michael Fallon MP as they explore how the UK government uses soft power to increase its influence overseas. Both Ministers are likely to face questioning about how the Government should respond to the recent claim by the Chinese government-supported Global Times which this week said that the UK is ‘no longer any kind of big country’ and is only ‘suitable for tourism and overseas study’.
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Maria Miller MP will be asked about the role culture and sport play in developing the UK’s reputation overseas, and whether the Government risk placing too much emphasis on sport due to the popularity of brands such as the Premier League. The Committee may also ask if the UK is losing out to China, France and Germany who are spending significant amounts of money on establishing cultural institutions and programmes abroad.
Michael Fallon MP, Minister for Business and Enterprise, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is likely to face questioning about the balance between the Government’s support for human rights and its promotion of UK businesses that operate overseas, concerns that the Government’s tough restrictions on visas for non-EU nationals to visit and work in the UK is damaging our reputation abroad, and how well BIS coordinates its work with UK Trade and Investment (UKTI).
The evidence session will start at 4pm on Monday 9 December in Committee Room 1 of the House of Lords.
The session will be webcast at www.parliamentlive.tv and is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament’s Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.