With Britain’s official exit from the European Union on the horizon, UK creative industries have pooled together and called upon the government to work with them to construct a framework that will protect the sector and identify potential opportunities in a post-Brexit world.
Around 500 people from the UK’s creative businesses, including British Film Institute chief exec Amanda Nevill and filmmakers Simon Curtis and Stephen Frears, contributed to a 73-page document, compiled by The Creative Industries Federation, which identifies opportunities and dangers that policy makers and dealmakers should consider in the Brexit process. It’s being presented today to Karen Bradley, UK Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, and Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
The paper, which points out that the creative industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the UK economy — worth £87.4B ($107.1B) — calls for government to put the industry at the heart of its thinking as it develops a new strategy, forges new international trade deals and tackles fractures in society exposed by the EU referendum on June 23.
“The challenge is to seize the opportunity sectors in the British economy and prioritize them in future trade deals and in the new industrial strategy,” said the Federation’s chief exec John Kampfner. “The creative industries are a massive opportunity for the UK government. This is the fastest-growing sector of the UK economy and includes all the things that Britain is famous for – from our music to our films, television and heritage. We want to work with the government to safeguard the jobs, the revenues and the prestige the creative sector offers.”
The report offers up a number of initial recommendations including examining Brexit as a chance to tackle existing problems and create opportunity to reboot education and training for young people in a market of skills shortages and also create a visa system enabling access to world-class talent.
Risks to funding, investment and free movement of the work force remain key concerns, and the paper said it was vital that government conduct an audit of existing EU funding to the UK’s creative sector and ensure that the funding would be replaced by UK coin as part of government public support alongside the territories already robust tax relief.
It said it was essential that the UK engage proactively with ongoing negotiations on the Digital Single Market, a series of proposals on copyright and media regulation, data and other issues that will have a major impact of the future prospects of the biz. It called upon the UK government to maintain the strength of the core intellectual property regime currently in force and secure the industry’s cooperation to reduce online copyright infringement.
“Film is a global business, and the UK is a success story at its heart,” said BFI chief exec Nevill. “We have this wonderful opportunity now to aspire to even greater heights of success, economically and creatively, if we can get the right framework for the future. In this time of change, film as one of the great arts has an important role in helping everyone engage with, imagine and shape a new future.”
Endemol Shine UK chief exec Richard Johnston said: “There has never been a more critical time for the UK’s creative industries to come together and to make their voice heard. This insightful report brilliantly articulates crucial considerations which need to be taken into account at the highest levels of government if the UK creative industries are going to continue to thrive.”