Since the election I have received a number of emails and campaign cards from members of Equity and the Musicians’ Union raising concerns about the impact that Brexit may have on the creative industries.
I totally agree that the creative industries make a vital contribution to our economy and national life. I studied performing arts myself at college so this is a subject which is close to my heart. The possible introduction of work permissions and/or visas could definitely have a detrimental impact on British performers touring and working in Europe.
The Government has said that it recognises that the UK music industry is a global leader and that it will be working closely with the industry to ensure the UK gets the best deal for British music, both in Europe and around the world. During the last Parliament, the Government also indicated that it would like free movement of all people connected with the arts to be a priority for negotiations with the EU.
I believe that the Government must adopt an approach to Brexit that protects jobs, trade and the economy and at the General Election I stood on a manifesto which committed to putting the creative sector at the centre of Brexit negotiations and our future industrial strategy. I certainly understand the serious concerns that the creative industries have about Brexit, from the potential loss of EU funding streams, to the ability of artists to travel and perform and the impact on intellectual property rights.
It is vital that we get the right deal on these issues in order to ensure our creative industries are not shackled by Brexit. I would like the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to be represented on the Brexit cabinet committee so that the creative industries have a voice in government on the crucial decisions that will affect the Brexit negotiations.
I also hope that the Government will consider including representatives of the workforce on the Creative Industries Council.
I can assure you that I will continue to stand up for our creative sector as we negotiate our exit from the EU.