The Creative Industries Federation (CIF) – a membership body which represents, champions and supports the UK’s creative industries – has responded to the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement drawn up by prime minister Theresa May’s cabinet.
Although it is pleased that the agreement suggests a ‘No-Deal’ Brexit may be avoided, the body is concerned that it still lacks specifics, which may result in a high level of uncertainly within the creative sector.
Alan Bishop, chief executive of CIF, said: “A ‘No-Deal’ scenario would be devastating for creative businesses and for the UK economy. The resignations and political instability around Brexit… are, however, hugely unwelcome and this will only exacerbate the uncertainty that creative businesses have faced since the referendum result in June 2016.”
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Earlier this year, CIF published a Global Trade Report, which showed 40% of the UK’s creative industries stressed that a ‘No-Deal’ scenario would harm their business’s ability to export, while 21% would, in the event of a ‘No-Deal, consider moving all or part of their businesses abroad.
They also stressed that securing a transition period is critical in order to reduce the significant uncertainty that businesses have been facing across the country.
Bishop added: “It is encouraging that many of the key concerns around which the creative industries have been campaigning are at least acknowledged in the political declaration.
“For example, references to the UK’s participation in Union programmes such as culture and education as well as the priority given to intellectual property, data, and temporary movement of talent. More detail is needed, but this is an important first step.”
He said that the political declaration on the UK’s future partnership with the EU did not go far enough. This is key “given the vital importance of ease of movement and frictionless trade of services for the creative industries”.
CIF also warned that, given that the creative industries currently account for more than 9% of the UK’s total services exports, disruption to this will have a major negative impact on the UK economy as a whole.
Bishop said: “We urgently need more clarity on the final relationship. Given that the creative industries contribute £92bn GVA to the UK’s economy and are the nation’s fastest growing sector, it is vital that this crucial sector remains central to ongoing negotiations.”