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Feedback from Creative Industries Federation on Brexit


The Creative Industries Federation were quick in bringing the sector together to make an early start on considering the implications of Brexit for the cultural and creative industries. Attended by over 150 delegates, including the ADUK Vice Chair Tony Witton and London Regional Coordinator Matthew Couper, the meeting was a useful forum for colleagues to collectively consider the breadth of the implications of leaving the EU and a demonstration of the strength of feeling for working together to protect our industry.


Fabrice Montagne, Chief UK and Senior European Economist at Barclays made the following financial predictions:

  • The country will go into recession with firstly production being affected as markets lose confidence followed by a slowdown in consumption as labour markets are affected and household income drops.
  • The level of recession will not be as severe as the financial crash in 2008 and is likely to begin impacting in the early autumn.
  • There is likely to be a cut in interest rates

The net result of the economic turn down is that deficit will get worse. It was noted that this may have been the case regardless of Brexit.

Jenni Russell, British columnist and broadcaster talked about the political dimension stating that:

  • There will be a new Secretary of State and a Government department would be formed to deliver Brexit.
  • There will be more than 70 bills which would need to be scrutinised and revised, taking a great deal of ministerial time and forming much of the focus of Government for a period of at least two years.
  • From the autumn we will be dealing with a new Prime Minister and Cabinet and will need to remake the case for the value of culture and the creative economy.

As a sector, we should be considering the issues which we will face as consequence of leaving the EU and come up with strong arguments for those areas that we want to save in negotiations i.e. freedom of movement for artists / arts practitioners. Cleary other sectors will also be doing this so we need to make sure we get in quickly and with some strong messages so that our voice is heard. It is also important that we do this collectively with other organisations working in the sector. A question was asked as to whether a second referendum would be held to try and reverse the result. Although this is a possibility, it was felt that it was unlikely.


Darren Henley reminded us that we are used to advocating for support for our work and have built up a range of evidence and examples of good practice which we can draw on going forwards. He also urged delegates to consider where there might be new opportunities arising from Brexit and asked delegates to complete the survey recently distributed by Arts Council England, which would be an important source of data that could inform future policy decisions. The survey asks questions about funding, partnerships and movement of artists and can be found here. Darren also reiterated that the arts has an important role in bringing communities together.


Delegates were invited to consider the impact of Brexit on four key areas – access to markets, access to talent, access to funding and the digital single market. A summary of the discussion can be found here.


It should be noted that European funding programmes will continue in its current format.  However it was noted that there has been some unease around EU funding programmes and that UK groups may find it difficult to be the lead on funding bids, in addition the collapse of sterling has made European projects more expensive.

Correspondents: Tony Witton and Matthew Couper