James Hendicott: Time to support our own as Brexit adds to industry woes

by James Hendicott

Ten months into a global pandemic and we’re faced with the inevitable impact of Brexit, too. It never rains, as they say, but it pours.

Perhaps the main impacts of our neighbour’s change of status won’t be immediately obvious, in part because the issue will be masked by the limitations imposed by the pandemic, but it’s very likely Brexit is going to impact on our entertainment industry, as well as more broadly.

It’ll be more complex, for example, for Irish acts to tour the UK (previously a big touring market), or for UK acts to tour Ireland, and that’s before you factor in things like correctly accounting for merchandise sales.

That in turn might push up ticket prices, and make tours less frequent. Once travel is on the table again, we’ll be faced with adjusting to a different new reality.

Then there’s goods sales.

Buy something physical from the UK today, and depending on the set up of the seller, you’re might be left with a VAT bill on arrival, adding another 20% or so to the product price as well as the potential complexity of sorting paying of that amount on or before delivery (it’s worth noting, as an aside, that this doesn’t apply to buying from Northern Ireland, which will remain in the EU customs and VAT area).

While there are options out there when it comes to buying from spots in the rest of Europe, for example, the way forward is to support our own.

Irish businesses will deal with the complexities of the import stuff, and keeping them alive and thriving is helping a vast number of people to stay in employment right here, across the entertainment industry, or whatever other industry you might be buying from.

In such harsh times, it seems a very obvious answer.

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