Creatives warn on Brexit-immigration deal

Almost three-quarters of the UK's creative industries believe that restricting immigration will "severely limit" their capacity to do business, a survey warns.

The finding from the Creative Industries Federation suggests that despite calls from some SMEs for a second EU referendum, creative firms would likely vote in the same way.

In fact, before the June 2017 EU vote, about two-thirds of creative firms said they wanted the UK to remain a member. Now, 74% say a key consequence of 'leave' threatens their outfit.

"Without ease of movement, the impact on the UK economy and our position as global creative leaders will be catastrophic," says CIF's chief executive John Kampfner.

"From broadcasters powerless to employ staff with expertise in key export markets and new technologies, through to musicians unable to afford visa and equipment costs to play at our summer festivals, the effects will be far-reaching."

But despite previously welcoming the Brexit 'implementation period' for bringing some certainty, the federation says the position of freelancers is still unclear, and prohibitive.

Nodding to concerns raised (but seemingly still unanswered) by innovation body NESTA, the CIF said: "Self-employed people and freelancers, who make up almost half the creative workforce, simply will not be able to come to work in the UK."

One solution presented to the government is for two freelancer-only UK visas; one for workers from within the EU; the other for those from outside it.

In its latest submission, however, the CIF preferred broader-brush recommendations, although all of them strongly factor-in UK/EU access for UK, and non-UK freelancers.

The body's four main recommendations to the government are:
⦁    Remain in the customs union and single market and ensure ease of movement of international talent
⦁    Ensure creative industries can bring in international (including EU) workers for short-term projects and on a permanent basis
⦁    Ensure reciprocal access to the EU for UK talent to tour, shoot, perform and provide services
⦁    Ensure quick and flexible access to creative freelancers from across Europe and internationally.

 

25th June 2018

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