Brexit wish-list for creatives given to ministers

A creative worker body’s call that the government must not leave out the UK’s most innovative sectors when it negotiates Brexit has been echoed by the Liberal Democrats.

Unveiling its new paper ‘Brexit and the power of creativity,’ the Lib Dems suggested that an understandable desire to prioritise the City should not be the only action ministers take for commerce.

In particular, “the government have rightly recognised the impact of changes to market access for banks and financial services, but they must think about other industries and sectors too.”

The appeal by Tim Farron’s party will likely please the Creative Industries Federation, which issued a similar statement following Theresa May’s Brexit speech which failed to mention the creative industry.

After listening to the PM trumpet the science and tech industries, the CIF said: “ 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.”

Federation chief executive, John Kampfner, followed up at the time by saying that the creative industries – like science and tech – has “benefited enormously” from the skills and insights of EU workers.

It is a point not lost on the Lib Dems. Their new paper calls for: “The continued ability for people to move freely between the UK and EU for creative activities such as television and film production, concerts and fashion events.”

And “non-British EU citizens currently employed in the UK… [should] have the right to stay,” adds the party, seemingly aware of the potential for the UK to lose the skills and insights it has gained.

Eight other calls on the government to ensure the creative industries can overcome the challenges that Brexit poses are made in the paper. They are for:

· The creative industries to be at the top table of the government’s international trade agenda and post-Brexit negotiations. They should be a prominent part of the Britain is Great campaign and at the heart of the government’s employment and industrial strategy.

· The government’s careers, apprenticeships and technical education reforms to support creative industries’ diverse talent and skills.

· The inclusion of creative subjects in the school curriculum, investment in developing creative and science skills (STEAM), and adoption of Edge Foundation’s new baccalaureate.

· The new UK-EU relationship to allow the UK creative industries access to EU funding sources and, if excluded, government to seek to maintain investment through UK-based schemes.

· The current standards of IP protection to be maintained with continuing cooperation on enforcement of British IP rights as well as continuing influence with the EU to ensure the continuation of territorial licensing of rights.

· The introduction of a new UK unregistered design law which extends protection from three to 15 years, with criminal provisions for intentional infringement.

· The UK to have an influential role in the development of the EU digital single market, including for data protection and collection purposes, alongside opening new markets outside the EU.

· TV channels to continue to operate in the EU on the basis of origin in the UK, and UK content to qualify as EU – otherwise our status as a creative hub is at risk.


12th April 2017

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