Go Editorial works with businesses across the world and in Europe. One of the main reasons people work with us is to take text written by uncertain English speakers, give it a bit of a polish and then present it proudly to the world.
That’s why I supported remaining in the EU in the referendum and remain firmly committed to that position. The single market has helped my business to win contracts from companies in Germany, the Netherlands, France and Poland effortlessly, so I dearly hope British businesses can stay within it
Nevertheless, the referendum was lost and the political winds appear to be blowing against that. So my other hope was that the sectors Go Editorial works in – mobile games and games – would be considered in the government’s Brexit white paper.
Having read the paper, it’s clear that isn’t the case. While the games industry is clearly a creative industry, in Section 8.17 – where the government discusses services and Brexit – the white paper doesn’t even bother to mention it.
This is a major disappointment. While this might simply be an oversight (or an error as sloppy as the chart in the same paper claiming British people get 14 weeks of leaver per year), it sends out a message to games businesses that the government isn’t thinking about them.
This message can be found in other places in the white paper too, where it becomes clear that government is committing to doing very little to mitigate the potential impact of Brexit on the industry as a whole.
For example, Section 8.18 only mentions the Digital Single Market to say it isn’t complete; sections 8.38-8.40 mention the importance of maintaining data flows but only commits to “maintain the stability of data transfer” between the two parties.
And while Section 5.9 – which is part of the paper’s section on “Controlling Immigration” – says that immigration policy will need to “understand the impacts on different sectors of the economy”, the earlier exclusion of games from the creative industry section suggests the industry probably won’t be heard.
In short, this white paper offers nothing to the games industry at all. Despite the fact that the industry is a proper British success story – with over 2000 businesses providing £4.2bn to the economy and generating more in revenue than any other creative industry – it has been overlooked and ignored by the government ahead of this vitally important negotiation.
Games companies should therefore look to make as much of a fuss as possible about the report to as many different political outlets as possible. In particular, games businesses should:
- Report their concerns to the industry trade bodies UKIE and TIGA to allow them to bring their weight to bear against the government.
- Contact local MPs, particularly in locations where games clusters exist, to express concern about the white paper.
- Email Matthew Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture, to explain the value the sector brings and to provide him the confidence to fight our corner.
As a growth sector in the economy, games should be accounted for in the forthcoming negotiations – let’s see if we can make that happen before it is too late.