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27 September 2020

Publishers and Brexit


On 23 June 2016 the UK voted to leave the European Union. The UK and the EU ratified the withdrawal agreement by 31 January 2020. There will then be an implementation period until 31 December 2020 while the EU and UK negotiate new arrangements.

This move will have implications for all businesses, publishers included. As well as changes to the free movement of people, trading conditions, exports, copyright and selling rights and sub-licences to titles will be affected. Here we round up some of the resources and comment on how your Scottish-based business could be affected by Brexit.


Publishers and Publishers Organisations

The Publishers Association, London

Independent Publishers Guild

Elsevier Brexit Resource Centre


UK Government


Scottish Government

Post-Brexit Hub

Briefings by the Scottish Parliament's Information Centre (SPICe) on the UK's exit from the EU. The latest issue (Issue 12 dated 26 August 2020)

  • Outlines areas of disagreement and recent changes to the UK and EU positions in advance of the latest formal negotiating round.
  • Reports on what happened in Round 7, including changes to the EU's negotiating texts.
  • Explores how compromise might happen to reach agreement.
  • Provides an update on scrutiny of the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Bill.
  • Summarises the current Brexit-related legislative consent memorandums lodged with the Scottish Parliament. 

The European Union's Strategic Agenda for 2020-24: Scotland's Perspective (January 2020)

Scottish Government overview of 'no deal' Brexit preparations.

Brexit Support Grant - funded by the Scottish Government, provides a minimum of £2,000 and a maximum of £4,000 to help small to medium-sized enterprises in Scotland manage a wide range of Brexit impacts.

Brexitvarious reports and key documents that the Scottish Government has published on Brexit. website. Includes Brexit self-assessment tool to help identify what you can do now to ready your company for business post-Brexit.


Creative Scotland

To help keep in touch with the process and the advice being published, Creative Scotland have created a Brexit Information page to link to relevant information.


Creative Europe

UK organisations can continue to apply for Creative Europe funding until the current programme ends in December 2020. 


Business Organisations

CBI - No deal preparations hub

British Chambers of Commerce - Brexit Hub

Federation of Small Businesses - Brexit and  'Keep Trade Easy, what small firms want from Brexit' - March 2017



Society of Authors and Irish Writers Union joint statement warning of dangers of no-deal Brexit 26 September 2018 - Society of Authors website


Arts and Creative Industries Organisations

Arts Council England (ACE) has published a guide that shares relevant government information to help arts and cultural organisations prepare in the event that the UK exits from the European Union without a withdrawal agreement. See the ACE website.

The Creative Industries Federation issues regular updates. 



British book publishers fear Brexit will bring a US invasion: David Segal in the New York Times 13 April 2018

Flexing Export Muscle Ahead of Brexit: Porter Anderson in Publishing Perspectives 19 July 2018

No deal Brexit: Export and printing logistics are key trade concerns: Katie Mansfield in The Bookseller 14 January 2019.

Sturgeon on Brexit, reading for pleasure and online book clubs: Natasha Onwuemezi in The Bookseller 1 February 2019.

Indie publishers fearful of no deal as HMRC issues Brexit advice: Mark Chandler in The Bookseller 18 February 2019.

No-deal Brexit could put indies out of business says Galley Beggar: Katy Docherty in The Bookseller 16 September 2019.


Other resources/comments

Data Protection and Brexit - Information Commissioner's Office 

Full Fact - the UK's independent fact checking charity

Centre on Constitutional Change, Edinburgh. The team has produced a series of Brexit Reflections on key issues for policymakers, pollsters, and the regions and nations of the United Kingdom.

Institute for Government (London) has Brexit explainers, media and broadcast coverage, events etc.

British Council: Culture after Brexit