House of Lords Library

Leaving the European Union: The Arts

Published Thursday, October 4, 2018

This House of Lords Library Briefing has been prepared in advance of the debate due to take place on 11 October 2018 in the House of Lords on the motion moved by Lord Bragg (Labour), “that this House takes note of the impact on the arts of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union”. It focuses on three areas connected with the UK’s withdrawal from the EU: funding for the arts and cultural sector in the UK; free movement of people and the immigration regime; and copyright law.

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The cultural sector, which includes the arts, accounted for 2 percent of total UK jobs in 2017, 34 percent of which were in the arts sub-sector. Service exports from the cultural sector increased between 2015 and 2016, though this was largely driven by the film, television and music sub-sector. The value of cultural sector goods exports fell between 2015 and 2016, a decrease largely attributable to the arts and crafts sectors.

European Union funding for the arts comes from two streams: European Structural and Investment Funds and transnational funds Between 2007 and 2016, arts, museums and the creative industries in England received approximately £234 million from the European Structural and Investment Funds and £111.8 million from transnational funds.

The draft withdrawal agreement stated the UK will continue to take part in all EU programmes post-29 March 2019 until 2020. The Government has stated that in the event of ‘no deal’, it will guarantee EU projects agreed before the UK leaves the EU in order to “provide more certainty for UK organisations”.

At present, EU free movement rules and social security coordination enable EU citizens working in the arts sector to work in other EU countries without obtaining a visa or paying into two social security systems. Witnesses to parliamentary committees have expressed concern about the potential impact of the loss of this freedom on the arts sector.

EU regulations on copyright and related rights will be preserved in UK law as retained EU law under the powers in the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. However, the UK is also currently party to EU cross-border copyright mechanisms, the reciprocal element of which will cease to apply to the UK after it leaves the EU unless specific arrangements are made.

Lords Library notes LLN-2018-0099

Authors: Emily Haves; Nicole Winchester

Topics: Arts, EU grants and loans, EU law and treaties

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House of Lords Library

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