Brexit: Good News?

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Brexit ‘flag’: Creative Commons

As I am a publishing student, this was my first time at the London Book Fair, it was daunting because there were so many people there from the different sectors of the publishing but it was also very fun to be immersed from the start of LBF with all the major components of the publishing world.

The talk at LBF that really stood out for me was Brexit: Good News or Bad News for the Publishing Industry. It was a little alarming to hear all of the available statics for Brexit that could be crammed into one hour. Forty-three percent of jobs in UK publishing belong to foreign workers; this is nearly half of the industry that Britain will lose if the Prime Minister does not give EU workers the security to remain living and working in the UK. However, despite this, it was also inspiring to see and hear that at almost every talk that I attended it was mentioned that the CEOs of major companies were all concerned about their EU workers and not just the standing of their companies. Brexit has also decreased the value of the pound, therefore increasing the cost of printing in the EU. The value of the pound has been down since immediately after the referendum, has naturally caused a certain amount of concern about the industry’s ability to carry on ‘business as usual’; publishing is a particularly risk adverse industry. As no can say for certain what the market will be like when Britain finally leaves the EU in 2019, it makes it hard for the industry to establish the contract that they may need for 2019 in 2017.

While writing this I was hit by one of J. K. Rowling’s many wonderful quotes ‘Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself[1]’ The ‘damage’ that has been done to the publishing industry has been done out of fear of something that is yet to happen. This fear is a good thing if we as an industry can use it to propel us forward in negotiating the best possible deal and thus it will make us work harder and be stronger industry than before.

Although this is undoubtedly a challenging time to be wanted it join the publishing world I left Brexit: Good News or Bad News for the Publishing Industry feeling empowered as I felt that the industry would thrive as, after all, we were only leaving the EU we were not leaving the planet[2]. Establishing the best possible trade deals with other countries across the world in the count to Brexit as well post-Brexit is far more achievable than publishing in zero gravity.

[1] J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher Stone, Bloomsbury, p.216

[2] Brexit: Good News or Bad News for the Publishing Industry, London Book Fair, 14th March

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