Industry bodies have highlighted the biggest issues for the arts following the general election result – with Equity stating it is “extremely concerned” about the impact of Brexit.
Following the Conservative win in yesterday’s general election, organisations, also including the Creative Industries Federation, UK Theatre, Incorporated Society of Musicians and the Back for the Future Campaign, have outlined their priorities for the creative industries.
Equity general secretary Christine Payne said: “As the largest union in the creative sector, representing more than 48,000 professionals, we strongly encourage the government to take up the offer we make today of expert guidance on matters that are crucial for the future health of the UK’s creative industries.
“Equity remains extremely concerned about the impact Brexit will have on our members, in particular the need for the government to prioritise continuing freedom of movement, which is also essential for employers and engagers in the entertainment industries.
“To date, we have not been satisfied that our voice has been heard and we would urgently invite ministers to meet with us to address the key issues of mobility, tax and social security arrangements, safeguards for employment rights, copyright, settled status and funding for the arts.”
With Brexit now likely to happen at the end of January, the Creative Industries Federation has warned that the future shape of the UK’s immigration system is of “urgent priority”.
Chief executive Alan Bishop said: “The future shape of the UK’s immigration system is clearly of immediate and urgent priority.
“As we approach a now-imminent Brexit, it is crucial that we continue to attract the diverse global talent that has been so central to our success.”
Bishop aded: “We must create an immigration system that both looks beyond arbitrary measures such as salary and is not inaccessible through cost and bureaucracy.
“An industry-led approach to a flexible, points-based system for permanent international workers should focus on the assessment processes and qualities most relevant to our sector.”
He added that temporary workers need to be given the flexibility to undertake multiple paid projects across different employers, and that there are similar arrangements in place for touring artists working across the EU.
Incorporated Society of Musicians chief executive Deborah Annetts also called for protection of artists’ working lives in the EU post-Brexit.
She said: “Among other priorities, including implementing an education policy that guarantees the creation of future musical talent, an all-encompassing deal that will protect every aspect of the musician’s working life post-Brexit must be put in place.
“This includes everything from a two-year, multi-entry visas to ensuring that musicians can take their instruments easily across the channel to work in the EU.”
Annetts is also founder of arts education campaign group Bacc for the Future, which calls on the government to scrap the English Baccalaureate in schools, which does not include any creative subjects as compulsory.
She added: “Creative subjects are central to our cultural life, a key driver of economic growth, and give our children the tools to navigate a fast-changing digital world, but our current education system is failing to prepare for the future.
“The incoming government must review the EBacc – a failing policy – and reform or scrap it altogether.”
A statement from UK Theatre said: “If we want to see our industry continue to thrive, we need to nurture a diverse, skilled future workforce, get a commitment to continued public funding for our sector, and gain government support for maintaining the international influence of the UK’s theatre sector via cultural exports and global artistic exchange.”