MA warns of ‘highly damaging’ No Deal
Association fears museums face substantial losses
The Museums Association has warned of the “damaging impact” of a No Deal Brexit on the sector and the communities it serves.
In a strongly worded statement, the association said UK museums “could struggle with the substantial financial losses that could arise from loss of earned income, philanthropy and public funding in the event of a No Deal Brexit.”
It added that there were concerns about more museum closures, reduced opening hours, staff reductions and a reduced public offer. Border disruption caused by a No Deal Brexit would also pose significant risks to the museum sector, the statement said.
No Deal could lead to a drop in European visitors, and a reduction in tourism and could lead to museum items on loan being held at the border for a long period with a consequent disruption to exhibition programmes.
The Association added that uncertainty about the future of export licencing regulation, and the position of the large number of EU citizens employed in UK museums was also causing confusion.
The statement said: “No Deal would heighten the concerns of our EU staff, and will make it more difficult for museum in the UK to retain EU staff with specific areas of expertise. It will also cause problems for museums staff travelling to the EU, as existing schemes that guarantee health care and other rights will cease to operate under No Deal.”
Alistair Brown, the MA’s policy officer, said: “The MA is now seriously concerned about the prospect of a No Deal Brexit. The impact on museums and the communities that we serve would be severe. No Deal Brexit would have damaging short-term impacts, such as reduced food imports, uncertainty for EU citizens and increased risk to museum objects and data. This is the last thing that we need as the sector seeks to recover from a decade of austerity.”