The Creative Industries beyond Brexit – a passionate call to arms


The MIA recently went to the Creative Industries Federation’s excellent Brexit Conference. Alice was in attendance; here’s some thoughts from her:

The afternoon featured a diverse programme including interviews, discussions and Q&A’s with senior politicians, key advisors, and creative industry leaders from across the UK and Europe.

#FedBrexit was trending on Twitter as the audience put forward their views and submitted questions for the panels. At times the discussions became rather heated, as you can imagine! (type the hashtag into twitter to see some of the conversations that went on)

I quickly learnt that as Faisal Islam (Political Editor at Sky News) put it: ‘Brexit is like a giant whack-a-mole… As soon as you solve one problem, another pops up elsewhere!’

Paul Pacifico, CEO of AIM (Association of Independent Music) spoke on a panel about businesses preparing for Brexit, and he disclosed that there’s been cases of staff demanding Brexit clauses in their contracts, which guarantee that Visa’s as a result of Brexit will be paid for by employers. He also discussed that direct price rises from European suppliers have already created new charges that CANNOT be passed onto consumers, so independent businesses are absorbing this new cost.

A topic that kept coming up was how Brexit would affect the free-flow of talent in the creative industries. It seems the entire industry is nervous about two things: movement of material, and movement of personnel.

Something that really stood out for me was a passionate call to arms by leading architect Amanda Levete of AL_A. She stressed the importance that there be no compromises on our opportunities to recruit freely in a post-Brexit Britain. She quite clearly points out that Brexit isn’t just about trade deals; it’s about talent and relationships. Amanda believes that Brexit is damaging to Britain’s celebrated diversity and tolerance.

Although the speech focuses around the Architecture industry, much of it is applicable to the world of music and musicians. It’s a great read and includes my favourite quote of the day: ‘If we can’t import the talent, how can we export the ideas?’

Here’s the full speech; a creative viewpoint by Amanda Levete

This matter is of course relevant to MI as much as any other creative industry. As you would expect, the MIA will be keeping a very close eye on developments, and we will keep you informed.

If you have any Brexit related thoughts/experiences that you’d like to share, I’d love to hear from you – please email