I have now received a response to the letter that I sent to Jeremy Wright, the Minister for Digital Culture, Media and Skills following a roundtable discussion I hosted on the impact of Brexit on the creative arts. A copy of the letter can be found here https://www.vickyfoxcroft.org.uk/policy-response/2019/03/07/brexit-and-the-creative-industries-roundtable/.
This letter was passed on to Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries for response;
While the Minister has recognised the importance of the creative industries to the British economy, her letter includes no concrete commitments or suggestions regarding what the government would do to protect them after Brexit. She has also given no response to the anxiety felt by many at the meeting because of the uncertainty caused by Brexit, or the devastating impact that leaving the European Union would have on universities specialising in creative arts degrees, such as Trinity Laban and Goldsmiths.
The Minister has promised a year-long engagement process where DCMS will be reaching out to the cultural sector to help inform policy and processes. However, details of this are vague in her response and I will be interested to see at what stage this engagement process happens and what form it will take.
Overall, this is of course a very disappointing response. Coupled with the Minister’s refusal to commit to Creative Europe membership or match its funding (https://www.vickyfoxcroft.org.uk/in-lewisham-deptford/2019/03/26/creative-europe-questions-to-the-minister/), I have little confidence that the government is taking the importance of the creative industries into account in its planning for a post-Brexit future.
I remain committed to holding the government to account over its commitment to the creative industries as Brexit negotiations continue. I will be writing to the Universities minister, Chris Skidmore, to press the government for a more comprehensive answer to both the concerns raised by Trinity Laban and Goldsmiths and the future of the Erasmus+ programme.