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03 December 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. The Brexit transition period runs 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.


UK Government

The UK Government website lists actions that you can take now that do not depend on negotiations. Check the new rules from January 2021 and take action now.

Intellectual Property Ofice - IP and Brexit - The Facts

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


Scottish Government website. Includes Brexit self-assessment tool to help identify what you can do now to ready your company for business post-Brexit.

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.


Creative Europe

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


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

Anderson Strathern - Brexit Business Checklist

Harper Macleod - Insight article 28 October 2020

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.



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.