UK game industry anti-Brexit organisation Games4EU has published a report which spells out the detrimental effect the most likely forms of Brexit will have on the UK games industry.
Games4EU describes its Brexit Guide, subtitled: “How a Hard or No Deal Brexit Will Affect UK Interactive Entertainment,” thus: “This 51-page report examines the key fields of law, regulation, finance, and tax based on what we currently know in the challenging, uncertain, and fluid Brexit landscape. It is based on our analysis of all of the significant EU Commission, EU parliament, UK government and UK parliament Brexit publications issued so far as well as discussions with specialists in the above fields, our members, and others.”
The report highlights six areas of concern: “If the UK leaves EU with no deal (or in certain forms of hard Brexit deal): 1. Interactive entertainment businesses will face considerable uncertainty and bureaucracy, driving up costs and impeding day-to-day business. 2. Products and services will be more expensive, harder to access, delayed or even partly or wholly unavailable in the UK. 3. UK-based businesses will be compelled to relocate to EU in whole/part over time. 4. Loss of access to EU talent and friction on UK/EU travel will discourage high-skilled creative/technical staff from working here, causing over time talent scarcity and a brain drain. 5. Loss of consumer rights such as refund/return rights, fair labelling and EU mobile data roaming. 6. Cultural diminishment.”
Its general conclusions about post-Brexit prospects for the currently thriving UK games industry are bleak: “A transition period after the UK formally leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 would enable the detail of the future UK/EU relationship to be discussed and would delay most (but not all) of negative impacts, but it would also deprive the UK of influence in the EU. If a UK/EU deal is reached it may mitigate some of the negative impacts (the closer to a soft Brexit or the current position the softer the effects).
“We believe that the UK interactive industry, through its core underlying strengths, will weather Brexit. But, to be clear, in our view no position taken by the UK government since 2016 nor any other credible hard/no deal strategy actually put forward would meaningfully address all or even some of the detailed issued raised in this guide. Therefore, if the UK leaves the EU (especially on a no deal or hard Brexit basis) we cannot foresee any material boost to UK interactive entertainment (or the wider creative or tech industries) – unfortunately we foresee only serious harm.”
Games4EU has also written a letter it will send to over 200 MPs, outlining its concerns over Brexit. If you share those concerns, you can add your signature to it here.