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Clarity needed on movement of people in the cultural sector after Brexit

26 July 2018

The EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee publishes its report, 'Brexit: movement of people in the cultural sector', identifying the potential impact on the cultural sector of post-Brexit immigration restrictions.


In March of last year, the Committee published a report on 'Brexit: UK-EU movement of people', in which it examined possible arrangements for the movement of EU citizens to the UK after the UK has left the EU, with a view to identifying the main choices available to the Government and their likely implications.

This new report builds on the previous one, and considers the implications for the cultural sector of some of the possible changes to free movement that the Committee outlined.

Key findings

The key findings highlighted in the report were:

  • The cultural sector makes a profoundly important contribution to the UK's society and economy, and to its international image and influence. Cultural sector workers are highly mobile, and have thrived on collaboration with people from all over the world.
  • The report argues that the cultural sector urgently needs more clarity on free movement post-Brexit. The Government wishes to "take back control" of the UK's borders by ending the free movement of persons. However, by the time of writing, it had provided little detail about what this would mean in practice.
  • Despite the lack of detail about the Government's plans, the Committee suggests that future immigration from the EU to the UK will be shaped by one of two broad imperatives. The UK immigration system will either give preferential treatment to EU27 citizens, or treat them in the same way as people from third countries.
  • The Committee recommends that the Government be flexible. The UK's negotiators must recognise that any restrictions on EU citizens wishing to enter the UK may be matched by restrictions on UK workers in the EU. A decline in skilled workers from the EU would not only damage the UK's cultural sector, but also represent a significant loss to the audiences that benefit when talented people from across Europe perform in the UK.

Further information

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