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11 December 2019

Publishers and Brexit


On 23 June 2016 the UK voted to leave the European Union. 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

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.


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


Creative Europe statement from newsletter of 3 April 2019

As the UK did not leave the EU on 29 March as expected, UK organisations are currently still eligible to participate in Creative Europe. Advice to UK applicants is to get in touch if you are considering an application. The next deadline for Literary Translation is likely to be in mid-June and the deadline for Cooperation Projects will be in the autumn.

In the event of 'no deal'
Following the UK Parliament's third rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement on Friday, the UK now has to put forward alternative proposals to the EU before 12 April or leave without a deal.
UK creative, cultural and heritage organisations would cease to be eligible for Creative Europe in the event of a 'no-deal' scenario.
The European Commission has published contingency measures that would enable the EU, in a 'no-deal' scenario, to continue making payments in 2019 to UK beneficiaries.

The HMG guarantee

Additional information has recently been published by DCMS explaining how a proposed HMG guarantee would be implemented in a 'no deal' scenario for current beneficiaries. The guarantee would cover outstanding payments to direct UK beneficiaries of funded projects selected before the leave date.

If you are a beneficiary with an active project supported by the Culture sub-programme and you haven't already registered with DCMS then we encourage you to do so. Likewise, if you have submitted an application that is currently being evaluated you are also encouraged to email their team.



Society of Authors- submission to Culture Media and Sport Brexit inquiry - October 2016

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. 



Brexit will have a major impact on the book trade: Denis MacShane The Bookseller 18 July 2017

Holyrood Magazine - March 2017. The Scottish Government is opening up 'investment hubs' in London, Brussels and Berlin.

The Guardian view on Brexit and publishing: a hardcore problem - comment, March 2017

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

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

EU and UK creative industries discuss Brexit joint recommendations in Brussels 24 September 2018: see Creative Industries Federation website