The majority of people working in the UK’s media and creative sector oppose Brexit and believe leaving the European Union will damage the global role of Britain’s film, TV and advertising sectors.
A survey of more than 600 people working in the media industry by Media Business Insight, publisher of Screen International, found that 67% of respondents believe Brexit will have a negative impact on the UK’s creative economy.
However, 22% of respondents took a different view and argued that leaving the EU would have a positive impact on the media sector – with 11% uncertain of the impact.
Many of the respondents feared Brexit could impact the international sales of UK films and TV shows along with production of international movies and dramas being made in the UK.
Of those working in film that responded to the survey, 66% believe Brexit will have a negative impact on their own business.
However, 15.5% of film respondents believed it would have a positive effect with the remaining 18.5% not certain.
The survey of 686 people working in film, TV, media production services such as studios along with creative agencies working on the advertising sector, was carried out during March and early April.
The effect of Brexit on the economy and trading were cited as the key areas of concern by 62% of respondents, with Britain’s influence in the world (10%) and jobs (9%) being the second and third key reasons for people’s view.
People working in media production services – those providing locations, equipment and post production services to films and TV shows being made in the UK - were the most concerned about the impact of Brexit, with 71% saying it would have a negative impact on their business.
Concerns included how difficult it would be to make films and TV shows in mainland Europe, the impact on British creatives working abroad, the effect on the economy and the impact on selling British movies and TV programmes internationally.
However, the TV sector has the largest proportion of people believing it would be good for their market to exit the EU with 19% saying it would benefit the sector.
Respondents were asked about impact on their businesses and sectors – but also about their personal view – and there was a strong pro-EU sentiment among most of the industry when asked their personal opinion.
On a personal basis, just under 69% were in favour of remaining in the EU with 27% wanting to leave and just 4% undecided.
Reasons given for wanting to stay in the EU included free trade and sale of films and TV and other intellectual property among EU members, movement of skills and people for production across Europe and a strong belief that the UK’s role as a global creative centre would be damaged by withdrawal.
Conor Dignam, CEO of MBI, which carried out the survey said: “The survey results clearly show the anxiety many in the media and creative sector have about the potential risks around Brexit.
“British film and TV is now part of a global business and there’s obvious concern about creating new barriers to creative and media companies and talent that needs to compete on an international basis.
“The verdict of the creative sector is firmly against Brexit based on our survey”.