Preparing for No Deal Brexit
On 2 October, Icon attended a ‘no deal’ Brexit preparation workshop organised by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
The workshop featured presentations from DCMS officials on the impact that a no deal scenario would have on the movement of goods, immigration, funding, tourism and commercial contracts as they relate to the arts and cultural sector.
The workshop presented the opportunity for attendees to raise issues and questions with the department. Immigration and visa salary thresholds and the import of restoration materials were raised as concerns for the conservation sector.
Icon has previously called attention to how the conservation sector is highly skilled but low paid and how the current proposed £30k salary threshold for Tier 2 visa applications would exclude the majority of conservators. (78% of professional conservators hold at least one degree, with 46% holding postgraduate qualifications. The average salary for a professional conservator is £28,102, while the median salary is £26,000.)
Officials responded by reporting that the Migration Advisory Committee has been commissioned to explore lower salary thresholds for visas and is expected to report on its recommendations in January 2020. The sector is encouraged to feed into the current call for evidence as this could shift the position of the Immigration White Paper. Officials also highlighted that no changes to the UK immigration system will take place until the end of 2020.
In terms of restoration materials, officials outlined that in the event of no deal, the UK will become a 3rd country in regard to trading with the EU. This means that goods traded between the EU and the UK will be subject to the same requirements as countries like the United States. DCMS acknowledged the additional expense this would have on the sector, noting that an evaluation of the overall cost of Brexit to the cultural sector had not been done.
The tagline of the workshop was to “check guidance on the .gov website” as officials frequently referred to information the government was making available online.
DCMS has published a 10-point checklist to help workers in the arts, culture and heritage sector to prepare for a no deal Brexit. The guidance covers the information discussed in the workshop, including links to further reading.
Read Icon's Conservation and Immigration briefing here.
Image: Creative Commons