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MPs unite in bid to protect freedom of movement for creative workers

The 'Drawn Together' group of MPs is calling on the government to take account of the needs of the creative industries The 'Drawn Together' group of MPs is calling on the government to take account of the needs of the creative industries. Photo: Mark Thomas
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A group of cross-party MPs have joined together to demand that freedom of movement for the creative industries is protected post-Brexit.

Ten all-party parliamentary groups that cover the creative industries – including the performers’ alliance – have warned that restricting ease of movement between the UK and the European Union will threaten the sector’s success.

Under the banner Drawn Together, the 10 groups call on the government to take account of the needs of the creative industries, highlighting that they are the fastest-growing sector of the UK economy.

They also plan to send a joint letter to home secretary Amber Rudd, which will ask that any future visa and immigration system must:

  • Allow best possible access to the EU talent and skills needed by the sector, by providing a “quick, open and flexible” system.
  • Enable British creative workers to continue to work abroad easily and with minimal administration and cost restrictions.
  • Provide visa-free travel for UK creative workers to continue to tour and perform in Europe on short-term projects.

Alison McGovern, who chairs the Performers’ Alliance All-Party Parliamentary Group, said: “Failure to address the needs of the sector in a future trade deal could seriously threaten the future growth of this vital part of our economy.

“We are coming together to ask that the government helps protect its flow of talent and exchange, which has been so important to its strength, ahead of trade talks with the EU.”

It comes as a report from the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee also endorses the importance of flexible travel for those working in the creative industries.

Among its recommendations are that government should seek to retain free movement during any transitional period and, if the visa system subsequently changes, a “detailed process of consultation” with those affected should begin as soon as possible.

It also warns of the bureaucratic difficulties of a new system on small and medium-sized creative businesses.

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