Industry Organizations React to Brexit


LONDON: The chairman of the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA) in the U.S. has called the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union a “major blow” to its film and TV industry, while Pact has said it is “disappointed” with the move.

Pact, the trade body representing British producers, said that 85 percent of its members backed the Remain camp. “Pact prides itself on being a pragmatic and effective organization that works in the interests of its members and we now have to focus on potentially significant changes across a whole range of issues,” the group said in a statement. “We do not think there are any immediate causes for concern, but do think that there will be a degree of uncertainty in the medium term. Clearly the timetable for this lies with the U.K. government.”

In the short term, Pact says it will do “everything to ensure that we work with government, industry colleagues and the EU institutions to ensure that we maintain as many of the important commercial advantages that we currently have for all of our members across film, TV, children’s and animation. Pact will continue to address all issues not in the interests of U.K. producers, such as the Digital Single Market proposals. Pact will continue to play a leading role in this debate to ensure that although the U.K. will no longer be part of this, in the longer term our members and U.K. businesses will still trade in the EU and will be affected by any detrimental changes regardless.”

Laura Mansfield, the chair of Pact, commented, “Pact members have already expressed their reservations around how a U.K. exit from the EU could impact one of our main markets for U.K. content and formats. Pact will be working closely with both the U.K. government to feed into negotiations to make sure that necessary trade deals with Europe are secured as quickly as possible, and will continue to influence the commission’s proposals around the Digital Single Market before they are finally agreed and impact the U.K. TV and film sector.”

Michael Ryan, chairman of IFTA, issued a statement this morning noting, “The decision to exit the European Union is a major blow to the U.K. film and TV industry. Producing films and television programs is a very expensive and very risky business and certainty about the rules affecting the business is a must. This decision has just blown up our foundation—as of today, we no longer know how our relationships with co-producers, financiers and distributors will work, whether new taxes will be dropped on our activities in the rest of Europe or how production financing is going to be raised without any input from European funding agencies. The U.K. creative sector has been a strong and vibrant contributor to the economy—this is likely to be devastating for us.”