What could the UK election result mean for the local film industry?

Screen | 12/13/2019 | Orlando Parfitt
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The decisive victory for Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party at last night’s UK general election has brought short-term clarity over Brexit for the UK’s creative sector, but also despair from some industry professionals.

The central pillar of Johnson’s campaign was ‘Get Brexit Done’. His Brexit Withdrawal Agreement is now certain to pass the Commons before the end of the year and the UK will leave the European Union on January 31.

Phase - Future - Terms - UK - Relationship

The next phase is negotiating the future terms of the UK’s relationship with the EU, which Johnson insists will be concluded by December 2020 (despite scepticism from trade experts and EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier).

As detailed by the BFI, under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, UK projects will still be able to apply for funding from the current Creative Europe programme until it ends in December 2020 but it’s not clear what will happen after this.

Screen - Producer - Rebecca - O'Brien - Sixteen

Speaking to Screen, producer Rebecca O’Brien of Sixteen Films said: ”The MEDIA programme is something that has been very important to the indie sector in terms of providing development money and support for our films in Europe. If we lose that then independent film is dead in the water in the whole European market. We need to fight for that.”

All co-production agreements including the bi-lateral co-production treaties and the European Convention on Cinematographic Co-Production signed by the UK will also be unaffected by Brexit.

Change - Sector - Immigration - Withdrawal - Agreement

The most significant change for the creative sector could be immigration. As per the Withdrawal Agreement, freedom of movement will continue until the end of the transition period, however after this the Conservatives have pledged to introduce an “Australian-style” points-based immigration system.

Responding to the election result, Alan Bishop, chief executive of the Creative Industries Federation, said: “The future shape of the UK’s immigration system is clearly of immediate and urgent priority.

(Excerpt) Read more at: Screen
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