Creative industries body wants second referendum

A creative industries body critical of how the government has handled Brexit for freelancers says a second referendum is now the only option.

In fact, “rather than crash out of the EU” without a deal for the £100billion creative industries, the UK’s political party leaders should all support another referendum, says CIF.

“With the Withdrawal Agreement forcefully defeated, the threat of a No-Deal Brexit has become a distinct reality,” says the Creative Industries Federation (CIF).

“We have now reached an undeniable cliff edge, and it is imperative that our political parties do what is necessary to prevent the extreme damage that will be caused if we crash out of the EU.”

In line with the federation’s concerns, four in ten creative businesses have warned that the UK leaving Europe with ‘no-deal’ – or ‘WTO terms,’ would harm their export capabilities.

Also responding to a CIF survey in February, one in five creative firms said the same ‘no-deal’ scenario would force them to consider moving “all or part of” their outfit out of the UK.

“The free movement of goods, services, capital and people have underpinned the sector’s success and our ability to attract talent, tour freely, and trade on our doorstep is vital to the ongoing success of the creative industries and to the UK as a whole,” says CIF’s CEO Alan Bishop.

“This is why 96% of our members intended to vote to ‘remain’ ahead of the referendum, and why crashing out of the EU without a deal would have catastrophic consequences for the sector.”

And Bishop believes it’s not just for the health of the economy (one in 11 Brits are employed by the creative industries), that a second referendum should go ahead.

“They [the creative industries] also play a fundamental role in the life of every person living in the UK, and are of irreplaceable importance to the way that the UK is viewed around the world,” he said.

A second referendum was acknowledged by the federation as likely to be “challenging” because it will cause “further uncertainty.”

But it regards the uncertainty as the lesser evil. In a statement, CIF said: “This presents less of a threat to the country’s prosperity than leaving the EU without a deal.”

 

25th January 2019

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