Brexit uncertainty and international trade in services: Evidence from the UK creative industries 2014-2019

30 March 2023

Download(1.63 MB)


Prof Jun Du, 

Prof Jun Du

Professor of Economics, Aston Business School

Dr Oleksandr Shepotylo, 

Dr Oleksandr Shepotylo

Senior Lecturer, Economics, Finance and Entrepreneurship, Aston Business School

Dr Emine Beyza Satoglu

Dr Emine Beyza Satoglu

Research Fellow, Centre For Business Prosperity, Aston Business School

This discussion paper is based on one of the first studies to look at the impact of Brexit on the Creative Industries international trade performance.

This analysis of international trade performance is complemented by an analysis of the services trade restrictions and their effects. It examines the period immediately following the EU Referendum in 2016 to 2019, years characterised by economic and policy uncertainty as the UK began the complex process of realigning its relationship with the EU.

The authors found a number of immediate impacts on the creative industries associated with Brexit. The initial confusion about nature of the UK’s relationship with the EU generated significant uncertainty, making it difficult for creative firms to commit to long term decisions and investments. The ending of freedom of movement, and the increase of barriers to the EU’s single market, were further complications. Finally, leaving the EU also meant leaving European legal and regulatory institutions. This sometimes had the effect of increasing the amount of bureaucracy imposed on UK firms, which now had to abide by both British and European regulations in order to trade with the continent.

The authors conclude that policy uncertainty post-Brexit has had a particularly negative impact on specific creative sectors; Audio-visual, Computer services, Advertising, and Architecture. Their analysis finds that, after Brexit, UK businesses experienced significant challenges in exporting to the EU.


Image Credits

Hero Photo by François Genon on Unsplash

Thumbnail Photo by Didier Weemaels on Unsplash