Authors make an unparalleled contribution to the UK's social and cultural life, as well as fuelling the economic success of the creative industries. It is critical that authors and the wider creative industries continue to thrive after Brexit.

You can download Brexit briefing here.

Our key asks of Government as we prepare to leave the EU

  • Exports: Exports of published material are currently worth £2.9bn to the UK economy, with 36% of these exports going to Europe. It is vital that access to these markets is maintained after Brexit and that there are no additional barriers to trade.
  • Copyright: The UK has a well-functioning and balanced copyright framework, which underpins the success of the creative industries. Existing EU copyright law must be maintained as the UK leaves the EU, and there must be no attempt to water these down in future trade negotiations.
  • Copyright Exceptions: The “fair dealing” doctrine for application of copyright exceptions and limitations (as opposed to US style “fair use”) must be maintained after Brexit and not conceded as a condition of US trade deals.
  • Copyright Directive: The EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, and particularly Articles 14-16 (the ‘transparency triangle’) must be transposed into UK law. See our CREATOR page for more information.
  • Exhaustion of Rights: The UK Government should adopt a ‘national exhaustion’ framework after we leave the EU. If ‘international exhaustion’ is adopted, a book could be legitimately re-sold anywhere in the world, even if a publisher had been granted exclusive rights only for specified countries. Books not intended for sale in the UK could enter the country, therefore undermining the success of our publishing industry.
  • Freedom of Movement: Freedom of movement has enabled the UK to access talent and ideas from Europe, as well as strengthening the diversity of our arts and culture sector. We are calling on the Government to ensure that visa restrictions do not prevent European creators from entering the UK for work and British creators from travelling across Europe for the same purpose.
  • Arts funding: Arts and cultural organisations in the UK benefit hugely from EU funding programmes such as Creative Europe. The UK Government should either commit to remaining within these programmes, or to increasing domestic funding for the arts via the Arts Council or another equivalent body.
  • Translation: In particular UK translation is heavily funded through various EU grants and prizes. The UK must continue to invest in funding for translation, in order to maintain a diverse range of literature and understanding of other cultures.
  • VAT on ebooks: VAT is currently zero-rated on printed books, but an anomaly in EU law has prevented the Government from extending the same status to digital publications such as audiobooks and ebooks. The EU has recently changed this rule. The UK Government must commit to applying zero rate VAT to ebooks and other epublications after Brexit.

What are we doing?


We are urging government and politicians to press for a post-Brexit settlement which does not adversely affect authors, both individually and in partnership with organisations such as the British Copyright Council, International Authors Forum and ALCS.

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