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UK media companies favour EU membership

A clear majority of UK film and TV companies has voiced support for remaining in the European Union, a major survey from KFTV’s publisher Media Business Insight (MBI) reveals.

Nearly 690 UK-based creative sector companies and individuals were surveyed, and the resulting report found that two-thirds (69%) of respondents feel the UK should choose to remain in the European Union during the upcoming referendum on 23 June.

“The survey results clearly show the anxiety many in the media and creative sector have about the potential risks around Brexit,” said Conor Dignam, chief executive of MBI. 

“British film and TV is now part of a global business and there’s obvious concern about creating new barriers to creative and media companies and talent that needs to compete on an international basis.” 

Sixty-three percent of UK-based respondents said they believe their own businesses will suffer if the UK votes to leave the EU, with a feared negative impact on the economy and trading being the number one concern.

Uncertainties about the possible consequences of Brexit are higher still in the UK advertising industry, with 81% of respondents in the commercials and marketing business saying the UK should remain in the EU.

Maintaining freedom of movement from the UK across Europe and sustaining existing trade agreements emerged as the main arguments in favour of remaining in the EU.

Tom Petch of UK location management company Salt told KFTV that Brexit could result in a devaluation of the pound, which in turn might bring more international shoots to the UK. However, Petch downplayed the overall impact of Brexit on location filming.

“The tax advantage of shooting in the UK is not dependent on EU membership,” Petch said. “The biggest player, US production, recently saw these advantages extended to include TV production and this business increased as a result. 

“Aside from the sterling price Brexit would not affect location filming in the UK. Indeed, European membership confers no advantage and reciprocal coproduction and tax deals are negotiated outside the European framework.”

Only around 20% of survey respondents felt Brexit would benefit the UK’s creative industries. Supporters of Brexit were concerned about the homogenisation of European culture and felt the UK should strike out on its own to better preserve its historical heritage and strive for greater international distinction.  

David Barron, producer of the Harry Potter films said: “Essentially most of our industry at the moment is supported by US finance so if we voted out, the impact may not be as significant as we might think.”

MBI is KFTV’s parent company and also owns various other media titles including The Knowledge, Screen International, Broadcast and shots.



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