Sean Kia’s post-Brexit analysis for LexisNexis on the film and television landscape
10th December 2020
Sean Kia, Associate in the Film & Television Department, has written an article for LexisNexis on the impact of Brexit on the UK’s film and television business, as well as the challenges and opportunities arising following Brexit’s completion day.
The piece, which first appeared on LexisPSL, can be previewed below (and the full version of the article can be accessed through the article’s PDF here).
“Following IP completion day how will the UK film and TV industry be impacted in the short, medium and long term?
Visas and immigration
Film and TV productions often require the movement of temporary labour to and from the UK. Being able to do so freely benefits production companies which work with tight budgets and are now taking on greater risks after the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. On average, the shooting period for a film takes six to eight weeks with some, on rare occasions, taking longer than three months. Following IP completion day, the rules with regard to visas on entering the UK or travelling to EU countries should, on the whole, not have a substantial impact in practice. The UK government announced recently that European Economic Area (EEA) nationals will be classified as non-visa nationals and thus visas will not be required for ‘short stays’. If we assume that ‘short stays’ is applied in the same way as that given to other non-visa nationals (eg citizens in the USA and Canada), then EEA nationals will not require a visa for visits shorter than six months. For travelling from the UK to EU countries (plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), a visa will not be required for UK nationals if the length of the stay is less than 90 days. As such, for the vast majority of film and TV productions, there will not be a requirement to obtain visas.
UK and EU tax reliefs and credits
Film and TV tax credits in the UK will remain unchanged. Production companies will be able to apply for the relevant UK tax credit or EU state tax credit through the usual means and by satisfying the applicable country’s cultural test. At present, UK personnel can qualify for other EU member states’ cultural test. Unless changes are made to the legislation in those states, UK productions will lose this benefit. For other EU countries, such as France, there will be no change as access to the French tax credit is governed by the UK-France co-production treaty. The cultural test in the UK will continue to recognise EEA content and personnel.
Film and TV co-productions will not be affected. All coproduction agreements including the bilateral co-production treaties and the European Convention on Cinematographic Co-Production (which the UK government recently signed) will remain in place following IP completion day… ”