Brexit White Paper 'lacks conviction for the creative industries'

A creative industries body has embraced the government's vision for a future partnership with the EU, although not without key reservations and big questions.

So a cultural accord with the EU; continued participation in Creative Europe (CE) and a pledge of ease of movement for creative services are all welcome, says the Creative Industries Federation (CIF).

But other policy areas affecting creatives in the Brexit White Paper -- an overarching plan to put in place the so-called Chequers proposals -- suffer from a "lack of detail and conviction."

The federation elaborated on its two-fold criticism.

"We need to see stronger commitments on participation in Creative Europe and broadcasting," the CIF said, referring to the government's unspecified pledges to both continue with CE and "seek the best possible" deal for the audio-visual sector.

"And [we need] more details on intellectual property, the definition of 'major events' for the temporary movement of goods, [and] the mobility framework and future immigration rules."

On IP, the government says it intends to explore staying in the Court and Unitary patents system; make sure the Unified Patent Court Agreement can continue, and seek on any future agreements to boost protections for rights-holders by providing a "confident and secure" operating procedure between the UK and EU.

On goods, the government says a new UK-EU Culture and Education accord will allow for the temporary movement of equipment, such as sports, music or museum items, for usage at yet-to-be defined “major events.”

On freedom of movement, the government confirms it will be ending, although it wants "continued frictionless access" for goods between the UK and EU; similarly "reciprocal commitments" on services (including Digital), and will discuss how to facilitate "temporary mobility" of the self-employed between UK and EU nations.

This latter action-point is so far the bright spot in London's negotiations with Brussels, for UK freelancers who want to retain the easy access they currently have to EU countries.

The next closest that the government comes in the White Paper to addressing the position of such independent providers of skills is when it talks of a plan to "protect the [UK-EU business community's] uniquely integrated supply chains".

In particular, the paper will propose to the EU that a new free trade area for goods is drawn up, to "protect the uniquely integrated supply chains ....and the jobs and livelihoods dependent on them, [therefore] ensuring businesses on both sides can continue operating through their current value and supply chains."

John Kampfner, CIF's chief executive said the government document provided "some clarity" for creative industries across the country.

"While the UK will no longer be in the single market and customs union, and freedom of movement will end," he said. "[the White Paper] is a step in the right direction and shows government is listening to the fastest growing sector of the UK economy.

“However, we urge government to clarify its position in a number of areas to ensure we exit the EU with the best possible deal for this sector." 

One area on the CIF's priority list for more details is the long-term position of creative freelancers from the EU if they want to do more than merely enter the UK for a 'one-off' job or client.

The federation said: "It is one thing to permit people to come to the UK, but it is quite another to ensure they are valued and able to contribute to our creative industries."


16th July 2018

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