Our British mantra is more important than ever following the majority decision to Brexit. Like any serious break up the vote to leave the EU has provoked shock, denial, anger but also anxiety over the unknown. The fact is – outside of the almost immediate drop in share prices, stalling in investment and the weakening of sterling – we just don’t know what the consequences will be.
So what now?
So far the message from the financial sector is; this is not a disaster. The UK will suffer an economic impact as businesses consider their options, but trade with Europe will not stop. We have two years to renegotiate our relationship with the EU trading bloc, and as an economic powerhouse, the UK has a strong bargaining hand.
This negotiation is vital to the creative industries with one of the main concerns being staff. The creative industries have until now been able to employ the cream of the crop of European talent to enrich our creative economy. New immigration restrictions would make this more difficult. Experts worry that with a lack of vibrant energetic Europeans having the opportunity to work or study in the UK, and vice versa, our creativity as a whole could be stifled. Requiring visas/ work permits / customs permits for the movement of equipment etc will have a financial impact on all creative industries, particularly TV & Film, so there is a strong incentive to work on keeping current freedoms of movement.
Leaving the EU will hinder British producers’ ability to sell their content in the giant EU trading area. Over the last 10 years, around 40% of UK film exports have been to the EU but hopefully new treaties will be formed to help this figure not drop with the Brexit.
The UK will no longer have a seat at the table when the EU decides on issues like the Digital Single Market strategy, which seeks to end geo-blocking across Europe and stop companies enforcing territorial copyright rules.
The F Word.
Funding – one of the biggest benefits to being part of the EU. The film industry will certainly feel the removal of EU funding, which injected £105m into the film industry between 2007 and 2015. Video Games Tax Relief and R&D Tax Relief have been instrumental in allowing the UK to compete on a level playing field against international competitors. Now we are leaving the EU, it is important that these reliefs are maintained & improved in order to attract external investment and stay competitors in the sector.
One positive is that the British film and TV industry would no longer be bound by EU rules which govern how government subsidies and incentives are applied so the British government could set up more attractive incentives than the rest of Europe.
The Creative Industries Federation whose 1000 members include Fox, Aardman, Lionsgate, Channel4, NBC Universal & Disney have made a statement pledging to play a positive role in safeguarding the future of the UK’s creative industries and their significant contribution to the economy.
TIGA, the trade association representing the UK’s games industry have also released a statement detailing the steps they will take to ensure the continued success of the sector. TIGA are asking the government to recoup the loss in EU funding by considering setting up a Games Investment Fund to help start-ups and small businesses
Overall the creative industries must remain positive, stiff upper lip and over-coming adversity us brits are so good at. Speak to your WardWilliams Creative Advisor if there is any specific aspect that concerns you. We are hurt and confused, but we can get through this, I find the consumption of ice cream very useful when dealing with breakups.