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Creative industries urge new PM Boris Johnson to support arts sector and revise Brexit plans

Boris Johnson. Photo: Frederic Legrand/Shutterstock Boris Johnson. Photo: Frederic Legrand/Shutterstock
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Boris Johnson has been urged to support the UK’s creative industries in his new role as prime minister, in an open letter that warns of the “extreme damage” a no-deal Brexit would do to the sector.

Membership body the Creative Industries Federation has written to Johnson, who was named the new Conservative leader today (July 23) and will assume the office of prime minister on July 24, calling for his help in securing the sector’s future success.

In its letter, signed by chief executive Alan Bishop, the federation maintains that crashing out of the European Union without a deal would have grave consequences for the UK’s creative industries, and also highlights deep concern for the damage that a proposed immigration salary threshold could have on the sector’s ability to attract the best talent.

Brexit immigration proposals will ‘strangle’ theatrical tours and talent

Throughout his leadership campaign, Johnson has refused to rule out a no-deal Brexit, and has pledged to ensure the UK leaves the EU on October 31 with or without an agreement with Brussels.

In the letter, Bishop states: “Alongside many other industries, we will continue to stress the extreme damage that would be caused by a no-deal Brexit. The free movement of goods, services, capital and people have underpinned the sector’s success, and we urge all the leaders of the UK’s political parties to support a second referendum rather than crash out of the EU.”

In addition to addressing Brexit, the letter cautions Johnson about the sectors concerns over the “severe decrease” in young people studying arts subjects at school.

“There are concerns that the devaluing of creative education alongside an immigration system that restricts access to vital international workers will threaten the pipeline of exceptional creative talent, which has secured the UK’s creative industries as world-leading,” it says.

The letter also claims the creative industries play a role in the lives of every single person living in the UK, and stresses it is the country’s fastest growing sector.

“At this vital time, we urge you to take advantage of the many opportunities to enable even more impressive success and global impact across the UK’s creative industries,” it says.

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