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‘UK’s creative sector should start preparing for no-deal Brexit’, warns industry body

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Arts and cultural organisations in the UK should be preparing for the possibility of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit in which they could risk losing employees or face restrictions when accessing talent from the European Union, according to the Creative Industries Federation.

The federation, a membership body for the UK’s creative industries, said it is vital the sector begins to prepare for a no-deal environment.

If an agreement is not reached on the UK and EU’s future relationship, the UK will cease to be a member state from March 30, 2019, meaning all existing benefits will be automatically lost.
In this scenario, the federation has warned that creative organisations would face restrictions and costs when bringing in talent from the EU and risk losing employees who no longer have an automatic right to remain and so choose to leave.

Other threats include higher costs, delays and barriers when trading goods and services with the EU and losing funding – through EU sources but also private finance if the UK is no longer seen as a desirable investment destination.

A recent survey of creative businesses found 21% said they would consider moving all or part of their business abroad in the event of the ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

Now, the Creative Industries Federation, in collaboration with law firm Bates Wells Braithwaite, has issued a guide for its members on how to prepare for a ‘no-deal’ eventuality.

It describes a ‘no-deal’ Brexit as “disastrous” but acknowledges that the chances of it happening are still relatively remote.

Recommendations include carrying out an audit of direct dependency on the EU – including areas such as staff, freelance talent, travel, products and funding.

The document also details how movement of people could work in a no-deal environment, by looking at the options already available for non-EU nationals, and offers steps to take regarding staffing, trade, funding, intellectual property and data laws so that businesses understand the situations they could be in if no deal is reached.

Alan Bishop, chief executive of the Creative Industries Federation, said: “Now is the time for these organisations to begin preparing for the impact a no-deal will have on their access to EU talent, funding and trade in the single market. This will require time and resources and poses a huge challenge for a sector where the average size of a company is 3.3 people.

“Given that we represent the UK’s fastest growing sector, ensuring the best possible deal for the creative industries is central to the health of the UK economy as a whole.”

The guide can be accessed by members here.

Elsewhere, membership body One Dance UK has released a report claiming that without the right safeguards in the place, Brexit will have a detrimental impact on the dance sector.  It warns that Brexit will affect the sector’s UK-based work by reducing the ability to bring artists into the country, as well as impacting the ability to tour work within the EU.

The report goes on to call for special visas or work permits for creative and cultural workers to continue free movement, a commitment to dance education in the UK to foster future generations of British artists and reciprocal arrangements to ensure cultural exchange can take place without increased bureaucracy or cost.

Read the report in full here.

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