Unions fight for a creative voice in Brexit negotiations

High-profile Equity members and staff gathered together on 6 December at the Performers’ Alliance All Party Parliamentary Group Christmas Party to discuss issues facing the entertainment industry.

Joining representatives from the Musicians’ Union and the Writers’ Guild, activists spoke to politicians about the challenges facing performers and creatives in a post-Brexit Britain.

These include concerns that arts funding, future employment rights, and ease of movement across Europe will be under threat.

The union used the event to lobby for workers’ representation on the Creative Industries Council, to ensure members’ needs would be represented in Brexit discussions.

There were speeches from the Chair of the Performers’ Alliance Alison McGovern MP; Chair of the Culture, Media and Sport Select committee Damian Collins MP; deputy leader of the Labour Party Tom Watson; general secretary of the Musicians’ Union Horace Trubridge and Equity Screen and New Media Committee member Tanya Franks.

Speaking about creative workers, Tanya explained: “We contribute a quarter of a billion pounds a day – that’s approximately £10.5 million per hour – to the economy. We are on the main stage of the world’s creative economy, and we cannot afford to lose that position."

“The challenges facing us from Brexit are many,” she continued. “But fortunately creative workers are dynamic and we are problem solvers, and the Confederation of British Industry is listening to us and is engaging. So please, please, talk to us and we can help you to find solutions that work for us all.”

Photography by Phil Adams