BBC News

Creative sector warns of Brexit threat to economy

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionThe creative sector is said to support 2.9m jobs in the UK

UK-made films, music, adverts and video games could be hit by a post-Brexit restriction on immigration, harming the economy, a trade body has warned.

The Creative Industries Federation (CIF) said the £87bn a year the sector generated for the economy was at risk if immigration was restricted.

The sector relies heavily on freelance staff, many of whom are from the EU.

The CIF is urging the government to negotiate free movement of UK and EU workers for short-term projects.

"We need an immigration system that enables our extraordinary sector to continue to grow," said the federation's chief executive John Kampfner.

A survey of 250 firms conducted by the CIF found three quarters employed EU workers and two-thirds said they could not fill those jobs with British recruits.

Lost business

Phil Dobree, head of special effects firm Jellyfish Pictures, which has worked on the latest Star Wars movies, said there was a risk that the UK would lose its competitiveness.

"Without access to the best talent base, which is only available internationally, our business would be lost to regions where access to these broad ranges of skills is readily available."

image copyrightGetty Images

The federation has unveiled a series of policy recommendations for the industry which it says is "one of Britain's fastest growing sectors".

It is calling for:

  • visa-free travel between the EU and the UK
  • A "creative freelancer visa" for workers outside the EU
  • reciprocal rights for UK workers to move and work freely for short-term projects
  • allowing companies to hire EU workers for below the current non-EU minimum salary requirement

A government spokesman said: "After we leave the EU we will have an immigration system which works in the best interests of the UK.

"Crucial to the development of this will be the views from a range of businesses, including the creative industries."

More on this story

  • Industrial strategy 'must help' UK creative industries