Creative industry tables four-point Brexit plan

Four fundamentals for leaving the European Union if the UK’s creative industry is to remain world-leading have been handed to ministers.

In fact, dependent on the “future success” of sectors ranging from Media and Marketing to Digital and Architecture is not ‘crashing out’ of the EU without a deal, says the CIF.

Instead, the four fundamentals must be achieved as part of a UK-EU deal, if there is no second referendum which is the ideal outcome, says the Creative Industries Federation (CIF).

The federation’s four, tabled back in 2017 but now being urged to be put in place before the prospect of the UK leaving the EU with no deal on June 1st  2019; are:

1. Retain freedom of movement

For EU workers, individuals in education and touring exhibitions, shows, musicians, their support teams / equipment, the CIF says freedom of movement must be put back on the table.

“[It] should be combined with significant reforms to the UK’s international immigration system so that creative businesses have access to the permanent and temporary staff, and freelancers, they need,” the federation said, alluding to its two freelance-only talent route proposals.

2. Ensure frictionless trade

Specifically for creative goods and services, CIF says trade between the UK and EU must be seamless.

In a Brexit update, it explained: “If we are no longer part of the EU Single Market and Customs Union, a free trade agreement with the EU must introduce frictionless trading arrangements for goods and services.

“This should include continued recognition of the Country of Origin principle from the Audio-visual Media Services Directive, the free flow of data, the mutual recognition of professional qualifications, and the tariff free circulation of goods.”

3. Safeguard EU programmes

Programmes proven to have fostered partnership, collaboration and investment in the UK’s creative industry ought to have their “importance” recognised, the federation says. It picked out Creative Europe, Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 as pivotal to the needs of the creative industries, and therefore deserving of featuring in any UK-EU agreement.

4. IP Preservations

Existing rules governing Intellectual Property rights should be “preserved fully” within the UK, according to the federation. So it wants the current ‘robust and proper enforcement’ of copyright, trademarks and patents/designs, even extending to unregistered designs, to emerge unscathed post-Brexit, meaning no new compliance or cost burdens for UK rights owners.


These four fundamentals are being pushed by the CIF in light of the UK being granted an additional six months passed the initial March 29th Brexit date.

Already approved and in-force, the postponement means the UK has got until October 31st  to draw up the “best possible solution”, in the reported words of European Council President Donald Tusk.

However if the UK has not ratified the Withdrawal Agreement by May 22nd, it must take part in European elections on May 23rd  if the October deadline is to remain intact. Failure to take part in the elections would result in a no-deal Brexit on June 1st.

“The aim for the government now is to pass the Withdrawal Agreement”, said the federation.

“The EU [has] reiterated that it will not open up the Withdrawal Agreement for further negotiation, ruling out any agreement without a ‘backstop’. However, it was said that the Political Declaration could be re-negotiated if the UK changed its red-lines.”


16th April 2019

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