Dear Conservative Government

We would so love to know how to plan for 2021. No deal is going to make it impossible for us to exist, as a major part of the company is non-UK. Some have Leave To Remain, but some of us are not eligible for that, as they’ve always been based out of the country and come to the UK to create, tour and teach.

Even with a deal it is not clear how we are going to be able to survive as a company. It’s not clear because with the end of Freedom of Movement we still don’t know how the cultural sector is going to be treated, in the horse-trading that is going on right now. We also don’t know if the UK members of the company can continue to teach or perform in the EU.

For the 10 people who form our company, this is our lives. It has sometimes been a precarious existence, but we’ve been working hard for 22 years, building a robust and thriving example of how to combine funded and commercial arts enterprise, generating revenue for the exchequer in the form of VAT and exports, encouraging visitors from overseas to our teaching and shows, providing for our families, making work that brightens our world, helping to train a new and more diverse generation of theatre-makers.

We have accepted that the UK voted to leave in 2016. But what is happening now is so far beyond what was promised to Leave voters, we have to ask: is this what you intended to happen? Are we collateral damage that you consider worthwhile?

There will be a time when the UK will have to ask itself what have we gained, what have we lost. Clearly it’s not now for most people. But the Ghost of Christmas Future is going to be knocking with some questions. And she’s not going to be as cheerful as she is in this picture.

Merry Christmas everyone.

PS no hurry about an answer, you have a lot on your plate. Before Christmas would be helpful, then we’ll get a week to do a cost/benefit assessment, international industry-wide consultation and 5 year business plan.

PPS on reflection, there are so many other people more seriously affected by No Deal / Bad Deal / Brexit, I’m embarrassed to be even bringing this up. We are way down the list. But it might help people understand the myriad of unintended consequences of this shitshow.

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post-posting note: we posted this letter on 14th December as a thread on Twitter, with some excellent responses and retweets, and on Facebook. Thanks for the kind messages of support about this from everyone. Will post updates as and when the situation evolves.

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Posted by > 14 December 2020