Boris Johnson has been urged to support a second EU referendum rather than a no-deal Brexit in order to support the UK's creative industries and protect the sector's public investment, just hours after he was elected leader of the Conservative Party.
Creative Industries Federation c.e.o. Alan Bishop has penned an open letter to Johnson calling on the Tory leader to re-think his commitment to Brexit saying the industry relies on free movement of goods, services, capital and people.
Bishop said: "Alongside many other industries, we will continue to stress the extreme damage that would be caused by a no-deal Brexit. The free movement of goods, services, capital and people have underpinned the sector’s success, and we urge all the leaders of the UK’s political parties to support a second referendum rather than crash out of the EU."
He also urged the former Mayor of London to "take advantage of the many opportunities" open to the sector and to maintain current government-backed initiatives including public investment through Arts Council England and the Creative Careers Programme, to ensure a diverse mix of people in the industry.
"The extent to which public investment in the creative industries underpins this success cannot be overestimated. In addition to enabling work with important intrinsic value, public investment into the UK’s arts and culture delivers social, reputational and economic returns throughout the creative industries and beyond," said Bishop. "Arts Council England has shown that through taxes alone, arts and culture generates £5 for every £1 of public investment while the BFI has demonstrated that in 2016 £632 million in tax relief seeded £3.16 billion in direct production spend across the UK’s screen industries. Without public investment, the remarkable economic success of the UK’s creative industries simply would not be possible."
Concluding the letter, Bishop said he looks forward to "working constructively" with Johnson to "secure the continuing success of our creative industries."
Johnson was named leader of the Tory Party this morning and will take over from Theresa May as Prime Minister tomorrow (Wednesday 24th July) after beating Jeremy Hunt by 92,153 votes to 46,656 in the party leadership election.
During his victory speech, Johnson vowed to "deliver Brexit, unite the country and defeat Jeremy Corbyn."
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