Creatives urged to vote in ‘unofficial referendum’ on May 23rd

The passing last night of the deadline for Britons to register to vote this month in the European Parliament elections has not gone unnoticed by a creative industry body.

In fact, the Creative Industries Federation says that while EU elections typically have low turnout, the May 23rd vote in the UK should be different because of how it will be regarded.

So given the current climate, CIF says the likelihood is that the election may be seen as an “unofficial referendum” on Brexit, whereby voters can support or snub pro-Leave parties.

'Maximise the vote'

And the opposite. So people in favour of Remain or a second referendum (both appear to be creatives’ and SMEs’ preference) can vote for parties sympathetic to these two positions.

“It is in the interest of those who do not support a no-deal Brexit to maximise the vote for parties that have explicitly ruled out a no-deal,” said the federation, urging people to vote.

The hope seems to be that deadlocked policymakers will get an up-to-date picture of what the electorate wants, which, nationally, was at odds three years ago with creatives’ wishes.

'Make your voice heard'

Indeed, workers in Marketing, Advertising, PR, Creative, Design, and Publishing were the staunchest Remainers, as their representative bodies pointed out upon the UK voting ‘Leave’.

The federation wants these workers to use the May 23 vote to ‘make their voices heard.’ It said: “We have repeatedly stressed the catastrophic impact that a no-deal Brexit would have on our world-leading creative industries.”

Reassuring, then, is the government’s latest position on Brexit. “Delivering a deal negotiated with the EU remains the government’s top priority,” the business department says.

'Stability, certainty and time'

Officials added: “With an implementation period until December 2020, this would give businesses and organisations stability, certainty and time to prepare for our new relationship after EU exit.”

Less positively for those wanting a deal, the update only came on a new widget business officials have launched to help firms prepare their operation should a deal not be struck.

Available online, the widget lets traders look at the types of actions in key areas they might need to take before October 31st, on issues ranging from IP and exports to data and staff.


And if a brand new measure of sentiment published this morning is correct, firms in one creative sector already imply they are unlikely to let the government handle the preparations.

Specifically, more than eight in 10 of early stage businesses in the country’s digital sector believe that the government’s handling of Brexit has been “awful” (65%), or “poor” (23%).

However Studio Graphene, which ran the poll, said that on top of Brexit “chaos,” more than half of young digital start-ups believe the months ahead will harm their growth opportunities. Only about one in 10 disagreed, predicting their growth prospects to be positive.


8th May 2019

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