Freedom to move = freedom to create
A sharp column from the theatre director Nicholas Hytner on the cross-party (Conservative and Labour) consensus on leaving the European single market (and thus ending freedom of movement across the UK border) - and how that will directly affect creativity and vitality in British arts. An excerpt:
The freedom to work and learn in the rest of the EU has been every bit as crucial to British creative success as the freedom to hire talented Europeans to work in Britain. During the election campaign, freedom of movement was presented as a one-way street: unrestricted immigration from the EU is the problem; border control is the solution. Continued membership of the single market is off the table, even for the Labour party, which continues to equivocate about a deal that would genuinely protect the interests not just of the economy but of the young people who voted for it in such numbers.
The students who delivered Canterbury for Labour deserve the right that their predecessors enjoyed to work and live without visas outside this country, if only to be able to come back and turn its failing economy around. In our brave new self-controlled world, the not-for-profit arts sector may miss the modest EU subsidies that it could once apply for. The commercial theatre, of which I am now part, may struggle with a doubled immigration skills charge. But far scarier is the prospect of a generation of creative talent crabbed by insularity and stunted by the delusion that our native genius, once unfettered, will be enough to see off the opposition.