Ad Association seeks Brexit answers: 'The time for a sensible way forward is upon us'

The British Creative industry causing a storm at Cannes

It has been a busy week for prime minister Theresa May with her tabling her long-awaited Brexit plan. Today (15 November) her proposal has sparked several senior minister resignations and a call for a vote of no confidence in the Conservative leader.

The UK's creative industries remain uncertain about the future economic prospects of the nation, both the Advertising Association (AA) and the Creative Industries Federation pitched in on the subject.

Meanwhile, Brexiter cabinet ministers Dominic Raab, the Brexit secretary, and Esther McVey, the work and pensions secretary, were the first two to fall out of line, with MP and hard Brexiter Jacob Rees-Mogg leading the charge against May.

Her 585-page draft agreement on the terms of Brexit with the European Union will have to secure a majority of votes (320) to get through the House of Commons.

Stephen Woodford, chief executive of the AA said: “Like much of the country, the advertising industry is waiting for clear decisions to be made about the future direction of the country and its relationship with the EU. Our core concerns continue to focus on access to talent, free cross-border data flows, and freedom to advertise on cross-border TV channels. We note that the outline political declaration touches on some of these themes, but without further detail it is difficult to make a considered judgement.

"This is concerning for services – considering its huge role in the economy – and for advertising in particular given our £132bn contribution to UK GDP. March 29, 2019, is drawing ever closer and the clock is ticking ever more loudly. The time for answers and a sensible way forward is now upon us.”

The AA is running a campaign to ensure the UK creative sector can continue to flourish regardless of whether Brexit is seen through parliament. It outlined how the government can aid the biggest stakeholders in the industry.

Meanwhile, the Creative Industries Federation outlined how devastating a no deal crash out of the EU would be. Its chief executive Alan Bishop said: "To crash out of the EU would be devastating for creative businesses and for the UK economy. The resignations and political instability around Brexit this morning are, however, hugely unwelcome. This will only exacerbate the uncertainty that creative businesses have faced since the referendum result in June 2016.

"As highlighted in our Global Trade Report, 40% of the UK’s creative industries stressed that a ‘No-Deal’ scenario would harm their business’s ability to export, while 21% would, in the event of a ‘No-Deal, consider moving all or part of their businesses abroad. Securing a transition period is critical in order to reduce the significant uncertainty that business have been facing across the country."

It said it will publish a summary of the Withdrawal Agreement and Future Relationship Declaration in order to help Federation members to navigate the coming months.

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