GOOD PRACTICE GUIDE Brexit means... what?

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Geoffrey Brown, founder and director of Euclid, the consultancy devoted to guiding us through the tangle of European funding, explains

Many people are confused about the implications of Brexit, not surprisingly as nothing about Brexit is actually clear apart from endless confirmation from senior politicians that “Brexit means Brexit”, a statement so meaningless that it makes the suave nonsense of Sir Humphrey (from Yes Minister – young readers, Google it) seem like inspired wisdom.

Presumably Brexit means the UK will no longer be in the EU. However, countries not in the EU include places as diverse as Norway and Nigeria and there is, of course, a vast difference between the relationship that Norway has with the EU and the one that Nigeria has, or doesn’t have.

Euclid has launched Know Brexit to help people understand the range of potential Brexits – and to hopefully stimulate some further actions from the arts and culture sector to put the case for a Brexit that is the least dis- advantageous for the sector and for the UK. Know Brexit aims to help the sector understand the implications of Brexit and to help anyone who wants to campaign to ensure that the final Brexit deal has minimal negative im- pact on the sector. Apart from a web- site and a Twitter feed (see below), there will be Know Brexit meetings around the UK that will provide both an update of Brexit news and the implications for the arts and culture sec- tor, and a platform to discuss the is- sues of most concern to the sector and ways of lobbying for the voice of the sector to be heard during the Brexit negotiations period.

Two Brexit reports have recently been published:

• The Creative Industries Federation report, which draws on evidence to identify the opportunities as well as the dangers in the Brexit process (see page 8).

• The Arts Quarter report, which encapsulates the viewpoints of over 400 senior arts professionals, collected from late July to late August 2016. You can download this report free from https://app.box.com/s/ ygs1miajr79ew57rcidm7my3i97ibxxd.

The post Brexit scenario continues to embrace the full spectrum of options – ranging from “soft Brexit”, i.e. having a “special” status similar to Norway, and, at the other, “hard Brexit”, being fully independent, such as Nigeria (a country of 175m people and the 21st largest GDP in the world). The 100% soft Brexit model includes membership of
the Single Market and the customs union, acceptance of freedom of movement for EU citizens, and significant payments to the EU, while a fully independent 100% hard Brexit implies separate trade deals (perhaps even with EU member states, and certainly with the
53 countries with which the EU currently has its own trade deals), strict controls on migration, and no payments to the EU.

The current reality is that very few people now want either of these extremes – well, perhaps the most ar- dent Remain voters would prefer the Norway option, and the most vociferous of the Leave voters would prefer the Nigeria model. It is also interesting that recent research shows that 6% of Leave voters feel they may have voted the wrong way – as do 1% of Remain voters.

And, of course, there are other questions: what will Scotland do? Or Northern Ireland, for that matter? Last week the Irish government held a cross-border conference to discuss the future, and representatives from political parties on both sides of the border attended – with the exception of the NI Unionist parties. Though there were statements about “no hard border”, it is hard to understand how his can work as Ireland, as a full EU member, is obliged to accept all EU migrants – who would then be able to cross the Ireland/UK border unimpeded.

In the meantime, let’s be pragmatic. The UK is still a member of the EU and is likely to be a full member until the end of 2019 – and, depending on the Brexit deal, may then have a status similar to that of Norway in that it could continue to participate in trans-national funding programmes such as Creative Europe or Erasmus+ or Europe for Citizens (one of the easiest EU programmes to apply for). So, while the post Brexit scenario is developed over the next two years, the UK must continue to apply, as lead partner or co-organiser, for EU funding.

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Euclid provides independent information and advice about EU funding and opportunities for the arts and culture sector. www.euclid.info

 

KNOW BREXIT 

Information

Twitter @knowbrexit

Website: resources, a regular blog and a platform where people can sign up to express their views on the Brexit arrangements. www.knowbrexit.eu - news

Meetings: the first Know Brexit meetings will be as follows:

16 November – Gulbenkian at the University of Kent, Canterbury

1 December – Bluecoat Arts Centre, Liverpool

18 January – Martin Hall, Loughborough University

Other dates will shortly
be announced in London, Birmingham, Milton Keynes and other cities and towns

These meetings will start at 2pm and run for a few hours – they are free but space is limited
so you have to book a place at www.euclid.info – select the event you want from the menu on the left.

Euclid would like to run
more Know Brexit meetings around the UK – but Euclid is an independent agency not in receipt of public funding so we are not in a position to hire venues or provide catering.

If any organisation or venue would like to host a Know Brexit meeting, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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