What are the implications of Brexit for museums?

Patrick Steel, 29.06.2016
Museums Association publishes briefing after referendum result
The Museums Association (MA) has published a briefing on the impact of Brexit following the referendum vote last week.

It predicts that the financial impact on the sector is likely to be substantial, with further tightening of public spending likely, valuable cultural and scientific links severed, and the loss of EU culture, education and research funding streams such as the €1.4bn Creative Europe Programme, the European Regional Development Fund and the Horizon 2020 programme.

The briefing states that attempts to reduce free movement could have a serious negative effect on the free exchange of ideas and talent, and the formation of constructive cultural networks in the UK.

The briefing also highlights the MA's concern about the divisive tone of the referendum debate, and its role in making museum workers, volunteers and visitors from ethnic minorities and/or other European countries feel unwelcome in the UK.

Alistair Brown, the MA’s policy officer, says: “We are hugely concerned about the impact of Brexit on museums in the UK. The loss of European funding and the likely impact on other public and philanthropic sources of funding will undoubtedly be damaging for museums and those who work in them.”
“We are also deeply concerned about the divides that the debate has opened up in British society. Museum staff and audiences from all backgrounds have voiced real nervousness about their place in Britain following the referendum. Now more than ever, museums need to work to protect their staff, bring our communities together and promote a tolerant, diverse and multicultural society.
“The briefing that we are publishing today is the MA’s first step in helping museums to navigate the difficult period ahead. We will work hard to advocate for a stable transition for the sector as the Brexit process continues, and we look forward to discussing these issues at upcoming MA events.” 

Links and downloads

Museums Association briefing on Brexit