Brexit damaging for arts, says Eagle

Leaving the EU would be damaging for the arts and culture sector, says Labours new shadow culture secretary Maria Eagle.

Speaking at a meeting organised by the Creative Industries Federation, Eagle said that £8.7 billion in social and regional development funding would be lost if Britain voted for Brexit.

She claimed the funds provide “a lifeline for culture and the arts in disadvantaged areas that have already been hit hard by Tory government cuts” and attacked culture secretary John Whittingdale for campaigning to leave the EU, saying it is at odds with his job as culture secretary.

“As a cabinet minister who wants Britain to leave, the culture secretary must explain how he intends to make up any shortfall in funding for British arts and culture if he gets his way.”

Eagle said delays with the government White Paper on the arts could be due to Whittingdale getting distracted by the Leave campaign. The White Paper – due to be published at the end of 2015 is now not expected until July.

She added: “We should stop flirting with EU exit… the entire sector could do without additional uncertainty and volatility caused by needless political instability.”


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