Brexit will not damage the creative industries, says UK culture secretary

Brexit crisis: creative businesses in the UK will "continue to thrive" after Brexit, according to the secretary of state for culture.

The Brexit vote to leave the EU will not affect the sector, which is growing three times faster than the rest of the economy according to latest figures, the minister said.

"The Creative Industries are one of the UK's greatest success stories," said John Whittingdale, secretary of state for Culture, Media and Sport.

"That success is built upon the extraordinary talent which exists in this country, an amazing cultural heritage, the English language and a tax system designed to support and encourage growth in the creative sector."

He added: "None of this is changed by the UK's decision to leave the EU and I am confident that our creative industries will continue to thrive and take advantage of the new opportunities which are opening up to do business across the world."

Whittingdale was responding to new government figures showing that the number of jobs in the creative industries have risen by almost 20 per cent since 2011, with the sector expanding at nearly triple the rate of the wider economy.

Reports earlier in 2016 put the value of the creative industries to the UK at £84.1 billion per year, equivalent to £9.6 million per hour.

Creative Industries Federation plans urgent Brexit crisis events
The Creative Industries Federation is currently organising a series of emergency sessions to prepare the UK's design sector for Brexit

The numbers reported at that time showed that the creative industries had grown at around double the rate of the UK economy overall in 2014, though the new figures suggest the longer-term trend for growth in the sector is even stronger.

The culture secretary's comments target a sector that has been left in upheaval following Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

London art school Central Saint Martins is "desperately concerned" about the potential loss of the Erasmus exchange programme, while leading intellectual property law firm Briffa advised that design and trademark rights would almost certainly cease to be effective in the UK post-Brexit.

The sector was largely opposed to a British exist from the EU, with 96 per cent of members of representative body the Creative Industries Federation (CIF) claiming they were voting to remain ahead of the referendum.

CIF is now organising a series of emergency sessions to ready the UK's design sector to respond to a likely Brexit.