Following publication of the Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement outlining a potential deal with the European Union on the terms under which the UK will leave the EU next March, Alan Bishop, Chief Executive of the Creative Industries Federation said: “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”.
However, Mr Bishop said that the subsequent Cabinet and ministerial resignations and political instability that followed publication of the Withdrawal Agreement were “hugely unwelcome” and would “exacerbate the uncertainty that creative businesses have faced since the referendum result in June 2016”.
Mr Bishop pointed out that, as stated in the Federation’s 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. Therefore, Mr Bishop said, securing a transition period was “critical in order to reduce the significant uncertainty that business have been facing across the country”.
However, Mr Bishop said it was “encouraging” that many of the key concerns around which the creative industries have been campaigning were “at least acknowledged” in the political declaration on the future relationship between the EU and the UK. For example, references to the UK’s participation in EU 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”, Mr Bishop said.
At the same time, however, Mr Bishop expressed regret that the political declaration did not go further, given the “vital importance of ease of movement and frictionless trade of services for the creative industries”.
“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”, Mr Bishop concluded. To read the response in full, click here.