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Samuel West launches campaign urging MPs to back the arts as Article 50 vote looms

Samuel West speaking at Theatre 2016. Photo: Alex Brenner Samuel West. Photo: Alex Brenner
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MPs are under renewed pressure to consider the impact of Brexit on the arts before voting to trigger Article 50, from a campaign that aims to protect the future of UK audiences and artists.

A Supreme Court ruling this week stated that MPs and peers must give their consent before the government can trigger Article 50 and formally initiate Brexit.

The National Campaign for the Arts is urging members of the public to contact their MP and ask them to ensure that their support for Article 50 is conditional on six points.

The assurances relate to areas such as funding for the arts and higher education, free movement of talent and residency rights for EU nationals already living in the UK.

National Campaign for the Arts chair Samuel West said: “It is vital for the future of audiences and the arts in the UK that Brexit negotiations take into account how important being a member of the EU has become to the health of the world-leading sector.”

He added: “The future for the UK arts. and for the UK’s artistic reputation around the world. could be very bright – but only if we know that the current position on everything from arts funding to copyright does not suffer from us leaving the EU.”

He urged supporters of the arts to “use this vital moment” and alert their MPs to “issues facing the arts”.

He said the public should “press for the assurances the sector requires to safeguard the future of UK audiences and artists”.

The full list of assurances can be found here.

Last week, members of the House of Lords called on the government to show more commitment to supporting the creative industries when the UK leaves the EU.

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