TIGA, the trade association representing the UK video games industry, has commented on the Government’s Brexit White Paper which was published today.
The 98 page White Paper, which is based on the agreement reached by Cabinet at Chequers, creates a framework for what it terms an “Association Agreement”, which is the type of deal that the EU strikes with third countries to provide “privileged links” to the bloc.
As part of this agreement, the UK would look to maintain a common rulebook for goods including agri-food, covering only those rules necessary to provide for frictionless trade at the border. Should this be accepted by the EU, it would help industries with highly integrated supply chains that stretch across the EU, and avoid the possibility of a hard Irish border.
There were several objectives contained in the White Paper of interest to the video games industry, including:
- protecting personal data, ensuring the future relationship facilitates the continued free flow of data to support business activity and security collaboration, and maximises certainty for business;
- a new framework that respects the UK’s control of its borders and enables UK and EU citizens to continue to travel to each other’s countries, and businesses and professionals to provide services – in line with the arrangements that the UK might want to offer to other close trading partners in the future;
- new arrangements on services and digital, providing regulatory freedom where it matters most for the UK’s services-based economy;
- willingness to explore participation in the successor scheme, and continued involvement in Creative Europe to support the cultural, creative and audiovisual sectors;
- developing a system for the mutual recognition of professional qualifications; and
- committing to a common rulebook on state aid, to be enforced and supervised in the UK by the Competition and Markets Authority
Dr Richard Wilson OBE, Chief Executive Officer of TIGA, stated:
“Today’s White Paper is a starting point for more detailed negotiations with the EU. We hope the EU takes this opening offer seriously.
“The video games industry welcomes the continued protection of personal data under GDPR, the mutual recognition of qualifications, and maintaining close links to cultural programmes like Creative Europe. Measures and programmes like these can make it easier for businesses to do businesses.
“However, we do want to see more details on the future migration regime. Video games companies depend on the ability to recruit highly skilled workers wherever they are from. To compete globally we need easy access to the best and brightest talent. 15 per cent of the UK’s games industry workforce comes from Europe.
“We also would like to see a greater flexibility on state aid rules, so the Government can act quickly and decisively to support sectors of the economy with real growth potential, particularly in the digital, creative and high technology sectors. This could enable the UK Government to enhance measures like Video Games Tax Relief quickly and effectively in the future.”