Tim Scott, Ukie's Head of Policy and Public Affairs, unpicks the Prime Minister's decision to prorogue Parliament (and what that means for UK video games businesses)
What a time to be alive. If you’ve been following the news this week, you will no doubt be wondering just exactly what is going on in Westminster.
On the one hand, the decision to prorogue parliament has been described by various politicians and observers as a ‘constitutional outrage’, ‘a smash and grab on our democracy’ and a "dangerous and unacceptable course of action".
Ukie's No Deal Brexit Survival Signposting Guide
Last update: 10/10/2019
With Boris Johnson becoming Prime Minister and no deal preparations increasing, there is a higher chance that the UK will leave the EU without a deal on the 31st of October.
Though we strongly believe that no-deal should be categorically ruled out as an option – and that most members of Parliament have indicated that it is an undesirable option - we understand that businesses must make preparations for all eventualities.
The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, a cross party group of influential MPs, have launched a new inquiry into ‘immersive and addictive technologies’. The inquiry seeks to examine the development of immersive technologies, such as Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR and AR respectively), and the potential impact they could have in the worlds of sport, entertainment and news.
More concerning is that how the inquiry also seeks to investigate the ‘addictive nature”' of ‘some technologies’ and how they can affect “users’ engagement with gaming and social media”.
Since the referendum Ukie have repeatedly and consistently stressed the importance of securing a data adequacy agreement to ensure the free flow of data between the EU and UK. Yesterday in the House of Commons the Minister for Digital made a troubling admission. In a European Committee meeting regarding the exchange of data with non-EU Countries Labour MP and shadow Culture Secretary Liam Byrne asked the Minister:
The BFI has published a major report on the economic impact of the screen sector tax relief incentives, its first since 2015.
The report, entitled 'Screen Business', demonstrates the scale of the UK games industry, as a key part of the screen industries, with overall workforce and development spend significantly incentivised by VGTR, stimulating growth in the UK economy.
Chancellor announces further changes to Apprenticeships
This week's announcement by the Chancellor contained a package of measures aimed at boosting apprenticeships. Speaking at the Conservative party Conference, Philip Hammond said:
No-deal papers highlight pressing need for certainty on talent and data
Join us to have your say on games policy.
Ukie last published our Blueprint for Growth for the games industry in 2015 – a lot has happened since then so it’s time for a refresher.
Briefing on Brexit Whitepaper: the future relationship between the EU and the UK
Late last week the Government published its long-awaited white paper providing more detail on the processes and arrangement it will seek with the EU between now and the end of the implementation period in December 2020.