Game Industry Representatives Comment On UK-EU Trade Deal

In the wake of the UK voting to leave the EU in 2016, a number of loose ends needed to be tied off relating to trade and economic development. A trade deal between the EU and the UK was finally reached on Christmas Eve 2020. Now TIGA, a non-profit trade association in the UK, has commented upon the eight critical points it feels pertaining to the video games industry and how the final agreement reflects TIGA’s own positions.

Video games produced outside the EU are not currently subjected to tariffs, and this will continue to be the case for the foreseeable future, which means UK produced games will be able to enter Europe without additional duties or fees. A subsidy known as Video Games Tax Relief will not be discontinued, but each side is responsible for implementing their own specific version of the program. However, the EU State Aid fund will be discontinued in the UK, pending a replacement program. By the same token, the UK will not have access to video game investment funds such as Creative Europe, though a separate agreement is being worked out to allow the UK to continue to participate in the Horizon 2020 program.

As far as immigration concerns, the UK and the EU have agreed to allow for short term visits of up to 90 days within a 180 day period without requiring a visa. The UK will be implementing their own immigration system for long term residencies and work visas. Meanwhile, data transfer will be on a six month countdown, as the UK works to build data protection schemes for individuals and organizations. While the UK has incorporated the GDPR into its domestic law, a separate law for cross-border data transfer is apparently required.

Worker and environmental protections are not immediately affected, as the EU and UK have agreed to reciprocal commitments to ensure that those are not diminished in any way. IP rights such as copyrights, trademarks, and patents are seemingly unaffected, though the UK will be creating their own system in line with their own particular requirements.

From TIGA’s analysis comparing its recommendations to the final result, it seems that the deal, like most deals, mostly satisfies all the relevant parties.

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