Freelancers nodded to after May's Brexit speech

The role freelancers play in bridging the UK’s skills gaps has been emphasised by a creative industry group following Theresa May’s ‘Brexit’ speech.

The Creative Industries Federation (CIF) said “the importance of freelancers” would now need acknowledging, in light of the PM’s pledge for the UK to leave the single market and protect its borders.

“S ome specific skills gaps… [in the UK] will need to be recognised and addressed, including the importance of freelances,” the federation stated.

But it also said that trade negotiations with the EU -- Mrs May wants “the freest possible trade” -- will need to consider at least a trio of aspects if the UK’s creative industries “are to continue to prosper.”

The three are -- the digital single market; the free flow of data, and tariffs, specifically the issues around where they will be – and will not be -- imposed.

And intellectual property protection as well as enforcement must also be factored in when drawing up trade agreements with former partner countries.

“Forty-two per cent of current creative service exports go the EU,” added the CIF. “And 57 per cent to Europe. These will remain important while the new deals are struck.”

However, in her speech, Mrs May said the “British people voted to leave the European Union and embrace the world.”

Although she went on to say that Britain will cooperate with the EU in other areas, such as on terrorism, the theme of a “Global Britain” dominated her 12 openly stated objectives for Britain’s negotiations.

The PM summed up her stance best when she said: “I want us to be a truly Global Britain –the best friend and neighbour to our European partners, but a country that reaches beyond the borders of Europe too .”

CIF’s chief executive John Kampfner endorsed her “global vision,” although Mrs May related it to the UK becoming the best county in the world for Technology and Science. She did not mention the creative industries.

“As in science and tech, movement of talent in the creative industries has been a critical component in the expansion and success of the sector and we have benefited enormously from the skills and insight EU workers have brought,” Mr Kampfner said.

“Given the potential for jobs and growth [that the industries have], it is essential that the requirements of this most dynamic of sectors is central to the negotiations in the difficult two years ahead.”

Editor’s Note: Related Reading –

Creatives from overseas vital, government told

Brexit ‘now the biggest barrier to freelancers’

Creative industry Brexit plan features freelancers

Image credit-  Foreign and Commonweath Office


18th January 2017

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