Joint statement from the Society of Authors and Irish Writers Union

Martin Reed

Martin Reed

Martin leads the SoA's Communications team. He oversees our strategic communications and campaign-based activities, including PR, social media, events and partnerships.
The Society of Authors and Irish Writers Union have joined forces to warn against the dangers of a no-deal Brexit.

Ireland and the UK have always enjoyed a close literary relationship, and the enduring popularity of Irish writers in the UK and vice versa is a testament to this.

But this unique and thriving relationship is now under threat as a consequence of Brexit, and it would be torn apart in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

The Society of Authors and the Irish Writers Union are particularly concerned about the following areas:

  • The introduction of tariffs and border controls would be disastrous for the wider industry in both countries.
  • Leaving the EU without a deal could result in the UK adopting an ‘international exhaustion’ framework, meaning that books not intended for sale in the UK could enter the country at discounted rate, hitting authors and publishers in both countries.
  • The ending of free movement to and from the UK will sever links within the community of European writers, to the detriment of both Irish and English authors.
  • A no deal scenario is very likely to lead to a sharp fall in sterling and lead to a reduction in the selling price of Irish books.

The Society of Authors and the Irish Writers Union believe that the risks posed by the current path of negotiations are unacceptable. They risk a financial, legislative, commercial and creative split in what has traditionally been a close literary bond. Such a split will benefit no one. We urge negotiators from all parties and all political persuasions to develop a clear strategy that will preserve this essential part of our shared cultural heritage – and to ensure that the UK does not crash out of the EU without a deal.

The statement has been sent to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Director General for Education, Youth Sport and Culture at the European Commission.

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