Brexit: One year on, one year to go – What’s the deal for artists?

    Head of Communications, Abby Yolda, looks at the latest Brexit developments leading into the final year of negotiations and gives an update on DACS’ campaigning activity.

    Brexit in brief

    29 March 2018 marks the one-year countdown of the Article 50 process and the half-way point in negotiations on a withdrawal agreement between the UK and EU. While we know a lot more about the realities of what a future post-Brexit might mean, there is still much to determine and the opportunity is here now to be loud and clear about what artists need.    
    Last week, I was at the Creative Industries Federation’s Brexit Conference at the National Gallery in London. Hundreds of attendees representing creators and companies from across the breadth of the creative industries gathered together to hear from politicians, journalists and our peers on what to expect in this final year of negotiations and what more we could be doing to ensure the creative industries will not be impacted negatively by Brexit.
    While there is still much uncertainty into what type of deal will be made, what the detail of that will be and any future new trade agreements and beyond, there was one common thread running throughout. Creative industries are integral to the creativity, culture and heritage of the UK and its future. It is also recognised unanimously as a valued, and critical sector to the UK economy, outperforming in growth and employment.
    Speaking at the conference, Minister for Exiting the EU Suella Fernandes MP championed the UK’s world-class intellectual property regime and confirmed strong copyright protection is to continue after Brexit to the benefit of creators and the creative industries. She elaborated that Government also wants to ensure the freest possible arrangements for trade and talent between the EU and for the UK to remain a magnet for international talent.
    While that sets a tone of reassurance, until a final deal is agreed and the detail is laid out, there is still more to be done to ensure artists have the opportunities to thrive in the UK.

    Campaigning for artists

    At DACS, we pride ourselves on putting artists’ interests at the centre of everything we do, particularly when it comes to protecting artists’ rights.
    Since the referendum vote in June 2016, DACS has engaged proactively with policymakers across Westminster and Whitehall to represent the voice of our artist members on issues they may face post-Brexit. 
    We’ve travelled to Brighton, Manchester, and Birmingham to attend Party Conferences. We’ve held face-to-face meetings with, Parliamentary lunches for and presented evidence to MPs and Peers across the political spectrum and with policy officials. We’ve worked with our partner organisations including the Alliance for IP, British Copyright Council and the Creative Industries Federation to amplify the concerns and needs of creators from reports to events.

    Safeguarding Artist’s Resale Right

    In particular, DACS is campaigning to ensure that artists and estates will continue to benefit from the Artist’s Resale Right after Brexit.
    Since ARR was introduced in 2006, nearly 5,000 artists and estates have received over £65 million in ARR royalties distributed by DACS.
    As you will know, ARR is an important source of income for many artists in supporting their practice. It also enables artists and estates to track where and when their works are sold, building confidence in provenance, which in turns supports the art market. ARR further assists artists’ estates in storing and conserving works in their care, preserving these for future generations.
    DACS will keep you posted about any developments, share our latest campaign activity and I hope that you will support us as well in ensuring that artists’ rights are protected post-Brexit.


    Our Members: Why Artist’s Resale Right matters

    In support of our campaign, some of our members talked to DACS about why the Artist’s Resale Right matters to them. Share what ARR means to you using #ArtistFutures @DACSforArtists or get in touch via

    Gordon Cheung, artist

    Jenny Hand, The Estate of Sir Alfred Munnings

    Cortina Butler, The Estate of Reg Butler

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    Find out more:

    Find out more about ARR for artists
    Find out more about ARR for estates and beneficiaries
    Read our Artist’s Resale Right FAQs



    Images: Tosser, 1985 © Boyd Webb. All Rights Reserved, DACS/Artimage 2018. Photo: Boyd Webb.
    DACS' CEO Gilane Tawadros and Head of Communications Abby Yolda at a parliamentary event with members Robert Scott, William Scott Foundation, and Celia Irvin, Albert Irvin Estate 
    © All Rights Reserved DACS/Artimage 2018; video of Gordon Cheung, video of Jenny Hand from The Estate of Sir Alfred Munnings and video of Cortina Butler from The Estate of Reg Butler all filmed and edited by Sonny Vadgama for DACS © All Rights Reserved DACS/Artimage 2018.

    Posted on 09/05/2018 by Jessica Bancroft