39 reports have been released by the Exiting the EU committee, but the Government has “decided not to publish” the comments and issues raised by the sectors themselves.

Photo of Brexit Minister David Davis
Brexit Secretary David Davis (r)

The Government has finally published 39 of the 58 ‘sector reports’ on the impact of leaving the European Union (EU), including one focusing on the Creative Industries.

Released by the Exiting the EU Committee, the report sets out a description of the creative industries, the current EU regulatory regime, and “existing frameworks for how trade is facilitated between countries”.

Commenting primarily on the structure of the sector and noting that 6.7% of the workforce in 2016 were EU nationals and there were 2 million jobs in the creative industries, the publication has been met with scorn from the arts sector for glossing over issues such as freedom of movement and refusing to include ‘sector views’. The Committee received these from the Government but “decided not to publish”.

Arts commentator Dave O’Brien wrote on Twitter that the report was an “absolute disgrace”.

“To be blunt, The #Brexit Creative Industries Sector Report is an absolute disgrace. It is in no way at all an impact assessment, rather it is a series of descriptive statements, & the views of the sector have been redacted,” he said.

Writer Mark Robinson echoed this view, stating simply: “Ceci nest pas une évaluation d'impact sectorielle.”

‘Major oversights’

The Creative Industries Federation (CIF) described the release of the report as a “positive development” – particularly as it demonstrates awareness of certain key issues affecting the sector – but criticised the “protracted resistance” to releasing the document and a series of “major oversights”.

“The analyses do not consider the huge role freedom of movement has played in the creative industries’ success, including for short-term workers, freelancers and international touring companies,” a spokesperson said.

“The sector has been clear that access to talent is the single most important issue at stake in Brexit negotiations, including through the Federation’s recent Global Talent Report.”

They continued: “The analyses also lack depth on the issue of trade, where there is little consideration of the export of creative goods or performances.”

CIF has stressed the importance of EU nationals to the sector, called for continued involvement in funded programmes once the UK leaves the EU, and consistently pushed for clarity on workers’ rights.

A CIF spokesperson told AP there was no direct Government call for input into the sector analyses, but they believe some of their work will have contributed to the creative industries analysis, including a survey revealing 96% of industry leaders were opposed to Brexit; recent oral evidence provided to parliament; and three recent Brexit-related reports.

The release of the sector reports follows confirmation that UK arts organisations will be eligible to apply for EU culture funding through the Creative Europe sub-programme until at least 2020.