First off, British writer, sometime politician and columnist Polly Toynbee (photo).
In her Guardian piece, aptly titled, “This is now Project Betrayal – and we are all victims,” she reports: “I keep finding people already affected. Start at home, here in the half-crippled newspaper industry, as Martin Sorrel’s WPP warns of an immediate advertising chill. A publishing friend reports a company-wide stop on all prices and contracts. A thinktank tells of an EU grant suddenly halted.”
The UK Society of Authors has gone into more specific detail about immediate areas of concern. The SoA begins with a general statement: “There are a great many questions to be answered and decisions to be made and we must act with calm and caution as the next steps and implications become clear. Europe is one of the areas where we have worked hard to represent the rights and interests of authors. We will continue to work in Europe and with all international partners, as well as at a national level, to ensure our voice is heard.”
After this, however, it continues: “One immediate area of concern raised by authors online is the impact on reciprocal Public Lending Right and secondary licensing arrangements, many of which are managed by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society. ALCS has responded saying they wanted ‘to reassure members that the agreements we have in place with European organisations to collect money for UK writers’ works aren’t dependent on our being a member of the EU. So in that respect, it’s business as usual’.”
Additionally, “another area of concern is EU grant funding, which is particularly important for translation. These grants continue to be open to UK authors at the moment and we will press for a solution which continues to make grant funding available.”
So there you have writers, publishers, newspapers, cultural bodies translators, immediately affected by Brexit. With England the second-largest focus for the international English-language publishing industry behind the U.S., we’re looking at a new drought for mainstream publishing. English writers, already hit by challenging income conditions, might need to look at their options – or simply quit. Indeed, the only type of writing getting a boost from Brexit appears to be hate speech.
Related: Why Brexit Really Is a Big Deal for the U.S. Economy, by Rana Foroohar, on the Time Magazine site.