Government urged to confirm status of EU nationals in culture sector

Geraldine Kendall Adams, 02.11.2016
Report calls for actions to safeguard sector ahead of Brexit
The Creative Industries Federation (CIF) is calling on the government to confirm "as a matter of priority" that EU nationals employed in the UK’s creative and cultural industries will be able to stay after Brexit.

In its Brexit Report, published last week, the CIF recommended several actions that should be taken immediately to safeguard the creative industries, with the loss of access to skills and talent identified as a key concern.

The museums, galleries and library sector was identified as having a particularly high number of foreign citizens represented in its workforce, with 4% of staff hailing from Europe and 5.8% from outside the European Economic Area. 

But the report said that while restricting freedom of movement “risks compromising our creative success”, Brexit could also provide an opportunity to revamp immigration and visa rules to “understand the specific needs of the creative industries”.

The report said that, in the medium-term the UK should “secure continued ease of movement between UK and EU countries for time-limited activities”, and in the long-term the government should reform migration to enable easy access to skills and talent from both EU and non-EU countries.
Loss of EU funding was identified as another major concern for the creative industries. The report called on the government to maintain participation in Creative Europe and the European Capital of Culture programmes, and said the total benefits to the creative and cultural sectors from EU funding should be quantified and “at the very least maintained” following Brexit.
Lost income could have a particular impact on the higher education sector, warned the report, with a quarter of all public investment for UK research currently funded through the EU’s Horizon 2020 grants programme.
Other areas that the CIF said should be urgently addressed included tackling trade barriers, opening up access to priority markets outside the EU, and ensuring the UK remains part of ongoing negotiations on the Digital Single Market, which is drawing up proposals on copyright, data and other issues that may have a significant impact on the creative sectors in the future.

The report also called on the government to affirm its commitment to maintaining tax reliefs for the sector, as well as the current intellectual property regime.

The report was based on a nationwide consultation with CIF members in the weeks following the referendum. The federation said its work on Brexit would “now intensify as we aim to secure the best possible outcome for the sector during exit negotiations”.