Brexit decision ‘a major blow to film and TV industry’

As the world comes to terms today with the news that Britain has voted to leave the European Union, some key figures from the creative sector have offered their reactions to the decision, and the impact Brexit could have on the film and TV industry.

Michael Ryan, chairman of the Independent Film & Television Alliance, believes that it could lead to disaster for the UK entertainment industry, particularly due to the amount of uncertainty surrounding the issue.

“The decision to exit the European Union is a major blow to the UK film and TV industry. Producing films and television programmes is a very expensive and very risky business and certainty about the rules affecting the business is a must," he said in a statement.

“This decision has just blown up our foundation – as of today, we no longer know how our relationships with co-producers, financiers and distributors will work, whether new taxes will be dropped on our activities in the rest of Europe or how production financing is going to be raised without any input from European funding agencies.

“The UK creative sector has been a strong and vibrant contributor to the economy – this is likely to be devastating for us.”

In its own EU Referendum Response, the Creative Industries Federation, a national membership organisation for the UK’s public arts, cultural education and creative industries has pledged to play a positive role in safeguarding the future of its members (96% of which backed Remain), with chief executive John Kampfner choosing to focus on what needs to be done now that Britain has made its choice. 

“As the UK creates a new identity and a new position on the world stage, our arts and creative industries – the fastest growing sector in the economy – will play an important role," he commented.

“It will be vital for all sides to work together to ensure that the interests of our sector on issues including access to funding and talent are safeguarded as the UK forges its new relationship with Europe. The importance of British culture in representing our country to the world will be greater than ever.”

Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI, which represents the UK recorded music industry, was more positive about the move, saying that although he agrees that there will now be a period of uncertainty, this could lead to new opportunities for the government when working on behalf of artists, and he is optimistic about the continued success of UK music on the continent.

“The outcome of the EU Referendum will come as a surprise to many across the music community, who will be concerned by the economic uncertainty that lies ahead and the impact this may have on business prospects," he stated.

"However, the UK public has spoken, and once the short-term political and macro-economic consequences have played out, this decision will mean new priorities for the music industry in our work with Government. We will, of course, press the government to swiftly negotiate trade deals that will ensure unimpeded access to EU markets for our music and our touring artists. Our government will also now have the opportunity to legislate for stronger domestic copyright rules that encourage investment here in the UK and which will protect UK creators from piracy and from tech platforms siphoning off value through copyright loopholes.

"We are confident that British music will remain hugely popular across Europe and we will work hard to make sure UK labels are able to capitalise on that demand.”