RSUA attended the UK Cabinet Office’s Brexit Business Taskforce for Creative Industries on Friday 12 February. The meeting was chaired by Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove MP. RSUA had sought views from members in advance of this meeting to inform the discussion.
The purpose of the meeting was to collect feedback on the experience of attendees following the end of the Transition Period and to identify any immediate operational challenges which might require UK government support. The meeting also explored how the UK government could assist businesses in making the most of the new arrangements.
Among the issues RSUA raised were the importance of ongoing mutual recognition and the need to extend this to the rest of the EU. RSUA also raised difficulties with PI insurance generally, but also specifically the emerging challenges of NI practices getting PI insurance to work in the Republic of Ireland.
RSUA raised issues with public procurement in general, particularly the need to focus on quality and avoid the race to the bottom as well as the crucial need to create opportunities for emerging talent.
At the meeting, RSUA stated that to enable exports we need more world leading examples on home soil. RSUA also made the suggestion that any future public competitions could guarantee a number of shortlisted places for UK architects. RSUA stated its support for infrastructure investment that would connect NI firms to opportunities in the Republic of Ireland, such as high speed rail between Belfast and Dublin.
The Cabinet Office has already reported back on the other issues which were identified at the meeting:
- Touring and mobility issues
- Government support for the sector
The Cabinet Office has also advised of the announcement of a £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund with a supporting GOV.UK page here which sets out further guidance on the fund, such as who can apply, and how businesses will be able to apply when the scheme goes live next month. There is also a helpline page for dealing with transition issues and the UK government has provided a step-by-step page for exporters at https://www.gov.uk/export-goods.