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OPINION: Hung parliament shows the industry's future workforce want change

Laura  Barnes
OPINION: Hung parliament shows the industry's future workforce want change

MI Pro editor Laura Barnes gives her personal view on what a potential coalition government could mean for Brexit negotiations...

The results are in from the 2017 General Election, showing that no one political party managed to gain the 326 seats needed to win, leaving us with a ‘hung parliament’.

While the UK is still somewhat in the dark about who’s going to run the country and what it means for our Brexit deal, as frustrating as it is not waking up this morning to a clear picture, I believe a hung parliament may result in more opportunities – and more time – for a Brexit deal that benefits musicians, the creative industries and businesses selling in Europe.

Looking at what the main parties have said about their commitments to the music industry should they get in, it’s clear that everyone wants to make the most of what the creative industries can contribute to the UK economy.
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Conservative MP and Culture Minister Matt Hancock told Music Week: We want to see world class creativity leading the world in music that works commercially too.”

Tom Watson, the deputy leader of the Labour party, commented: “Labour understands the power of culture and the arts and will make the investment and support they need to thrive.”

And the Liberal Democrats’ digital economy spokesperson, Lord Clement-Jones, told Music Week: “Liberal Democrats are the party of the creative industries and have released a dedicated policy document at each of the last three elections on the sector.”

A potential coalition government could be a good thing for combining some of these ideas and ending up with an exciting prospect for the creative industries, regardless of which parties join forces.

You can read more about the Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem manifestos here.

A number of parties have suggested a softer Brexit deal, meaning a coalition could result in some more favourable decisions surrounding working musicians travelling in and out of Europe, and EU nationals working in MI retail and business.

The Musicians’ Union (MU) has made a number of statements about its concerns over what Brexit will mean for its members, with MU general secretary John Smith saying: “Over the years MU members have benefited from open borders, a protective copyright regime and various directives which directly benefit them in their workplaces.

“We will no longer be able to jointly campaign with our former EU colleagues, nor will we be able to take part in the EU social dialogue committees on live performance and audio-visual. We must prepare for the introduction of border controls with the possibility of work permits and/or travel visas for musicians working in Europe.”

And on the retail front, The British Retail Consortium insisted that we need to strike a good Brexit deal by 2019, commenting: “The retail industry is the UK’s biggest importer, and has huge experience of importing from every corner of the world. We will be engaged in a constructive dialogue with government that will bring our experience to bear on the Brexit talks to the benefit of everyone in the UK.”

So while it has just been announced that Theresa May will visit Buckingham Palace to seek permission to form a UK government – despite losing her Commons majority, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is calling for her resignation, and may look to negotiate a coalition with other parties.

While we still have little idea yet of what the next government is going to look like, one thing is for sure: With an impressive 72% turnout for youth voters (the last eleciton was 43% and the EU referendum was 64%), the future workforce of our industry is looking for change. And I predict it will be one that benefits us all during the EU exit.

Tags: Retail , government , mi business , Opinion , general election 2017 , Hung parliament , coalition

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