Ukie has today published Video games and Brexit negotiations, a paper outlining key recommendations to decision makers in Parliament for how they should act during Brexit discussions to ensure that the UK games sector thrives outside the EU.
The paper is based on discussions held with Ukie Board members, Ukie Policy Group members, as well as a confidential survey of Ukie members in July 2016, to which there were 83 member responses (28% response rate).
The recommendations also build on those made in Ukie's 2015 Blueprint for Growth Report, which outlines what Government can do to grow the sector by an additional £1bn annually by 2020.
There are 10 specific recommendations in this newest paper around public funding, the UK's tax regime, access to skilled talent, and access to markets, as well as some other key areas that will help create the necessary political and business environment for the future of digital economy businesses.
Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie said:
The next five years are a crucial time for the growth of the UK games industry, and being at the forefront of the Brexit negotiations will allow games and interactive entertainment continue to lead the Creative Industries and the digital economy in the UK. This paper lays out key recommendations for retaining and recruiting highly skilled talent, maintaining a favourable tax environment, and reforming the public funding open to games makers, among others, that will future proof our sector as a key driver of the digital economy. Given the right support from decision makers in Parliament, we can seize this opportunity to become a leading economic, innovative and creative powerhouse, boosting exports, jobs and growth across the country.
Summary of recommendations to government
1. Ensure the video games industry voice is heard in its new Industrial Strategy. Immediately and actively promote the UK not just as "open for business" but as an attractive destination for domestic and foreign investment and a global centre for talent, innovation in creative technologies.
Access to markets
2. Retain the ease of trade that businesses get from the single market, and ensure that creative technology and digital sector interests are reflected in trade agreements. Keeping UK-EU trade tariff free should be one of the Government’s highest priorities and the right of UK services companies to establish and provide services in other EU countries should be maintained.
3. Guarantee the status of high-skilled EU nationals now and in the future.
4. Reform the immigration cap, reduce process time and relaxing eligibility criteria for visas for high-skilled talent and entrepreneurs.
5. Develop a long-term, funded vision for games talent that includes investment in computing and STEAM education, e.g. the Digital Schoolhouse programme and quality higher-level apprenticeships.
6. Develop an ever-more positive tax regime for the games sector, helping to reward British success and attract further investment.
7. Create the right regulatory climate for new technologies such as AR/VR to encourage international investment in the medium and long term.
8. Create a lead agency for games export and regional inward investment promotion, mirroring the success of ‘We Are UK Film’, as part of a wider review of trade and investment support for the games industry.
Free flow of data
9. Future changes to data and data protection laws must allow data to continue to flow freely between the UK and the EU.
10. Reform public funding for the video games industry (e.g. through BFI consultation) to allow access to same industrial and cultural funds as other creative industries, additional to existing resources.
You can download the 11 page document below