After 9 months of speculation following the June referendum, Article 50 has been triggered today, marking the start of two years of negotiations about what a post-EU Britain will look like.
During this time we have learnt a lot about what our industry is concerned about: access to global talent, data flows and uncertainty about future trading relationships have been all been raised as priority areas of concern, alongside the opportunities the coming negotiations present for the our creative tech sector in the UK.
We are looking forward to working with the Government to help inform what “Brexit” really means and to shape a favourable post-EU landscape for our world-leading games and interactive entertainment businesses.
At the start of the month Ukie launched our new report ‘State of Play: The UK games industry’s priorities for the EU negotiations’. It is a result of an extensive consultation conducted by Ukie between September 2016 – February 2017, including capturing detailed information from over 75 UK games studios, publishers and games service companies, and an eleven-date roundtable tour of the UK, talking directly with over 70 games businesses and legal experts. We will use this report to bolster our asks during the Brexit negotiations throughout the next two years.
The key findings of the report centre around four main topics:
Talent is the number one priority for games businesses. The UK’s departure from the EU is seen as an opportunity to redefine our immigration laws to position the UK as home to the best technological and creative international talent.
Access to markets
Games business were clear that it is vital that games businesses retain the ease of trade, for digital services and physical goods, that they currently enjoy through membership of the European single market.
Data is of fundamental importance to the games industry. It is therefore critical that the Government ensures there is a robust legal basis in place following our departure from the EU for cross-border data transfers between the UK and EU to continue, and that any future changes to data protection laws do not hinder this flow of data.
Our departure from the EU was seen as an opportunity to review our existing public funding structures to see more targeted funding that will unlock the long-term cultural and commercial potential of the UK games industry.
We look forward to rolling up our sleeves and getting stuck into the debate to make sure the UK remains the best place in the world to develop and publish games and interactive entertainment.
Dr Jo Twist, CEO of Ukie, responded this morning, “The Triggering of Article 50 signals the beginning of the end of the uncertainty we’ve all been facing since the Referendum last June. Ukie will continue to work with government across departments to ensure the industry’s needs are met, particularly around global talent, data and investment in homegrown innovation and creativity. We are a global sector exporting across the world and we must remain competitive. Article 50 is triggered on the eve on London Games Festival, a 10-day celebration of the huge cultural and economic contributions of games and interactive entertainment in the UK, which will directly encourage investment and jobs into our sector. We’re already showing the world that we are a leading global creative economy, and we will remain so outside of the EU.”
For more information about Ukie’s ongoing Policy and Public Affairs work please contact our Head of Public Affairs, Tim.