Creative Industries Federation response to Withdrawal Agreement

November 15, 2018

Alan Bishop, Chief Executive of the Creative Industries Federation:

“The decision by the Prime Minister and cabinet yesterday to agree the Withdrawal Agreement takes us one step further away from a ‘No-Deal’ scenario, which would be devastating for creative businesses and for the UK economy. The resignations and political instability around Brexit this morning are, however, hugely unwelcome. This will only exacerbate the uncertainty that creative businesses have faced since the referendum result in June 2016.

As highlighted in our Global Trade Report, 40% of the UK’s creative industries stressed that a ‘No-Deal’ scenario would harm their business’s ability to export, while 21% would, in the event of a ‘No-Deal, consider moving all or part of their businesses abroad. Securing a transition period is critical in order to reduce the significant uncertainty that business have been facing across the country.

It is encouraging that many of the key concerns around which the creative industries have been campaigning are at least acknowledged in the political declaration. For example, references to the UK’s participation in Union programmes such as culture and education as well as the priority given to intellectual property, data, and temporary movement of talent. More detail is needed, but this is an important first step.

At the same time, however, it is regrettable that the political declaration on our future partnership with the EU did not go further, given the vital importance of ease of movement and frictionless trade of services for the creative industries. The creative industries currently account for more than 9% of the UK’s total services exports and so disruption to this will have a major negative impact on the UK economy as a whole.

We urgently need more clarity on the final relationship. Given that the creative industries contribute £92bn GVA to the UK’s economy and are the nation’s fastest growing sector, it is vital that this crucial sector remains central to ongoing negotiations.”

The Creative Industries Federation will be publishing a summary of the Withdrawal Agreement and Future Relationship Declaration in order to help Federation members to navigate the coming months.

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