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The cultural sector, which includes the arts, accounted for 2 percent of total UK jobs in 2017, 34 percent of which were in the arts sub-sector. Service exports from the cultural sector increased between 2015 and 2016, though this was largely driven by the film, television and music sub-sector. The value of cultural sector goods exports fell between 2015 and 2016, a decrease largely attributable to the arts and crafts sectors.

European Union funding for the arts comes from two streams: European Structural and Investment Funds and transnational funds Between 2007 and 2016, arts, museums and the creative industries in England received approximately £234 million from the European Structural and Investment Funds and £111.8 million from transnational funds.

The draft withdrawal agreement stated the UK will continue to take part in all EU programmes post-29 March 2019 until 2020. The Government has stated that in the event of ‘no deal’, it will guarantee EU projects agreed before the UK leaves the EU in order to “provide more certainty for UK organisations”.

At present, EU free movement rules and social security coordination enable EU citizens working in the arts sector to work in other EU countries without obtaining a visa or paying into two social security systems. Witnesses to parliamentary committees have expressed concern about the potential impact of the loss of this freedom on the arts sector.

EU regulations on copyright and related rights will be preserved in UK law as retained EU law under the powers in the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. However, the UK is also currently party to EU cross-border copyright mechanisms, the reciprocal element of which will cease to apply to the UK after it leaves the EU unless specific arrangements are made.

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