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  • Pyramid II, Pauline Burbidge, 1980. Crafts Council Collection (T47) Photo: John Hammond

What can we say on Brexit?

Who are we talking to

Brexit is raising concerns amongst makers and craft businesses on issues ranging from customs delays and export worries, to import tariffs for raw materials and where cloud data is stored. Arts Council England have published a very useful EU Exit Guide.

To draw attention to Brexit concerns, we’re in regular dialogue with Government Departments, including DCMS and DIT, the Creative Industries Federation and the Creative Industries Council. In addition, we’re drafting an exports toolkit, engaging international audiences at our international art fair Collect and hosting a Facebook Live event (see below). Later in the year we’ll survey makers for the third year running to find out about export practice, building on our earlier Exports reports. We will continue to signpost useful advice as and when we get it. 


Our main message is don’t panic!

Any future changes will happen quite slowly. We’re still not in a position to offer detailed advice to makers on how to prepare. We’re awaiting news of the final deal that the Government is  negotiating and it’s impossible to predict the impact. But we can say this –

  • We carried out a survey after the referendum back in June 2016 to find out makers’ concerns at the time.
  • Since then we have been in constant conversation with other creative industries through the Creative Industries Council (which our Executive Director Rosy Greenlees sits on) and the Creative Industries Federation, of which we are a member.  We have had regular discussions with DCMS and fed into their meetings to discuss the implications for the sector. Our policy briefs have provided regular updates on this work.
  • The Government published technical guidance on 23 August on how to prepare if the UK leaves the EU with no deal. In the unlikely event of ‘no deal’, businesses importing or exporting goods from or to the EU will need to follow customs procedures in the same way that they currently do when exporting goods to a non-EU country. At this stage it’s worth looking at the Government’s Guidance on Trading with the EU if there's no Brexit deal.

Later in the year businesses would need (amongst other things) to:

  1. register for an UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number
  2. ensure their contracts and International Terms and Conditions of Service (INCOTERMS) reflect that they are now an importer/exporter
  3. reconsider how they will submit import declarations
  4. decide the correct classification and value of their goods to enter on customs declarations.
  • Briffa, the intellectual property lawyers, regularly publish helpful blogs about Brexit and design rights including on no deal/hard Brexit.
  • We are thinking through resources which we can provide next year once there is some certainty and these will be available online and through our regular business development events.