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24 January 2022

Publishers and Brexit


We strongly recommend publishers and creative businesses to register for both the UK and Scotland government email updates through these links.

Got a question about operating after Brexit - import, export, VAT? Get in touch with the experts at Scottish Enterprise


On 23 June 2016 the UK voted to leave the European Union. The UK and the EU ratified the withdrawal agreement and the Brexit transition period ran until 31 December 2020 while the EU and UK negotiated new arrangements.

This move has 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.


UK Government

VAT. From 1 July 2021 the value added tax (VAT) exemption for the importation of goods not exceeding EUR 22 will be removed. As a result, all goods imported to the EU will be subject to VAT. For an overview of the changes, see EU VAT e-commerce package on the UK Government website. See also our EU VAT changes page.

Doing business with Europe has changed. From 1 January 2021 you need to follow new rules on exports, imports, tariffs, data and hiring. See the UK Government website.

Small and medium-sized businesses new to importing or exporting can apply for a grant up to £2,000 from the SME Brexit Support Fund to help with training or professional advice. (updated 15 March 2021).

A UK Transition special edition of the UK Government's bi-monthly magazine for employers and agents giving up-to-date information on payroll topics (22 January 2021).

The UK Government has also provided country guides for UK businesses providing services and travelling for business to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein: see country guides

The UK Government website has a step by step guide to Importing goods into the UK.

Intellectual Property Ofice - IP and Brexit - The Facts

Intellectual Property after 1 January 2021. Update from IPO (24 November 2020)

GDPR. The UK Government has issued guidance for UK companies that receives customer information from an EU company (such as names and addresses, to provide goods or services) on what action you need to take regarding data protection and data flows with the EU/EEA.

Eight Chambers of Commerce in Scotland are licensed by the Government and HMRC to provide support on export and customs documentation, systems and processes to members and non-members. Contact  Aberdeen and GrampianAyrshire DundeeEdinburghFifeGlasgowInverness or  Renfrewshire chambers for more information


Scottish Government

Culture and Creative Sectors after Brexit (updated 16 December 2020)

Support for businesses in Scotland operating after Brexit, including new customs processes, VAT changes, new product markings and labelling and lots more, can be found at

Post-Brexit Hub

Research briefings by the Scottish Parliament's Information Centre (SPICe) on the UK's exit from the EU (under EU and International Affairs).

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

Scottish Government overview of 'no deal' Brexit preparations.

Brexitvarious reports and key documents that the Scottish Government has published on 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.


Publishing Organisations

The IPG has a Brexit information page - Brexit Information


Business Organisations

CBI - UK Transition hub

British Chambers of Commerce - Brexit Hub

Federation of Small Businesses - UK Transition Hub


Arts and Creative Industries Organisations

Arts Council England (ACE) has published a guide that shares relevant government information to help arts and cultural organisations in the UK Transition period. See the ACE website.

The Creative Industries Federation issues regular updates. 


Other resources/comments

The Bookseller - Sian Bayley's article of 13 July 2021 reports that wholesalers and shipping companies are facing delays and increased costs owing to coronavirus outbreaks, Brexit and the continued disruption after the blockage of the Suez Canal, with warnings we could be seeing the effects for the next five years.

Anderson Strathern - What your business needs to know about the Brexit deal (13 January 2021)

Data Protection and Brexit - Information Commissioner's Office 

Full Fact - the UK's independent fact checking charity

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

Brexit and Beyond - research papers, podcasts and reports from UK in a Changing Europe (an initiative promoting research into the relationship between the UK and EU).