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UK government responds to industry's Brexit fears

“The video games sector plays an important part in the UK's creative industries and we are listening to concerns"

The UK government has assured that it is endeavouring to minimise the impact Brexit will have on the games industry.

Following our recent report on the white paper released by anti-Brexit campaign group Games4EU, GamesIndustry.biz reached out to the government for a response.

Games4EU claimed that any form of Brexit -- particularly a hard or no deal Brexit -- would result in "considerable uncertainty and bureaucracy" for British games firms, with costs expected to escalated and day-to-day business to become challenged.

A government spokesperson told GamesIndustry.biz: "While the UK will no longer be part of the Digital Single Market, we are proposing an ambitious agreement with the EU on digital trade and are seeking reciprocal arrangements that will support businesses to provide services and move talent.

"The video games sector plays an important part in driving the success of the UK's creative industries and we are listening to stakeholder concerns."

In addition to this statement, the spokesperson highlighted efforts the government believes will address specific concerns laid out by Games4EU's 51-page white paper.

For example, the group predicts the "ripping up, reorganisation and replacement" of regulations and other systems related to personal data, IP law, tax changes and more will disrupt UK companies' ability to do businesses.

But the government cites its own white paper, which lays out plans for a future relationship with the EU with "ongoing regulatory cooperation and joined-up enforcement action between UK and EU data protection authorities."

The same white paper proposes to establish a UK-EU free trade area and maintain a common rulebook for goods to ensure there remains no friction at the border when bringing products into each market. This would potentially solve the issues raised by media reports that post-Brexit Britain would suffer from miles of lorry tailbacks and port delays, making it difficult to stock and sell goods - including consoles and video games.

There are also concerns over the ability to hire and retain talent from overseas, or even to travel freely about the Continent for events, conferences and business meetings. The government claims the UK will "seek reciprocal mobility arrangements with the EU in a defined number of areas" to assist with this.

However, it said that the immigration laws applying to EU nationals arriving in the UK after the end of the Brexit implementation period "will be for the UK to decide."

The government also observed that is has several initiatives to fund and nurture games businesses here in the UK, including the ongoing video games tax relief -- which has so far paid out 230 million to support 480 games projects -- and the Creative Industries Sector Deal unveiled earlier this year, which will see 150 million spent to support industries such as video games.

The latter includes a 1.5 million extension to the UK Games Fund, which has already supported more than 90 million businesses and 250 graduates around the nation. And earlier this morning, we reported on today's launch of the 80m Creative Industries Clusters Programme.

Brexit talks have ramped up this week, with Prime Minister Theresa May today telling her cabinet there are only a "small number of outstanding issues" to resolve before an agreement is reached, the BBC reports.

But negotiations have constantly come up against the stumbling block of the Irish border issue and whether they should be stricter checks there, something the EU is insisting needs to be addressed before a summit of leaders can be called.

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Latest comments (3)

Dan Griliopoulos Lead Content Editor, Improbable29 days ago
I mean, it's lovely that the government is promising these things... that it can't deliver. The chance of it getting a deal along these lines agreed by the EU, passed through parliament and then approved by every single member state is infinitesimal... and then we're heading for a No Deal.
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Richard Westmoreland Senior Game Designer, Codemasters Birmingham29 days ago
If only we were part of some single market that made doing business with and acquiring talent from Europe easy and frictionless.
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 29 days ago
The [blank] sector plays an important part in driving the success of the UK's [adjective] industries and we are listening to stakeholder concerns.
The irony of the industry being fed the same empty statements it gives its audience at events such as E3.

PR truly is the witchcraft of the modern age, including the fact that at some point in the future people might respond as violently to PR as they did to alleged witches. I can already imagine somebody with an Eric Idle voice pointing a finger 'he was trying to advertise to me' and things quickly move to a burning stake from there.
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