Ministers have taken steps to ensure films and games made in the UK can continue to qualify for government support after the country leaves the European Union next March.
Existing regulations set down qualifying criteria for dramas, animation and documentary programmes, video games and films to pass in order to be classified as British and so get tax relief which is seen as an important tool to attract film and other content makers to the UK.
The tests include meeting a minimum spend in countries belonging to the European Union and the European Economic Area and the hiring of a specified number of on and off-screen talent from those same countries.
In order that productions hiring British talent continue to qualify after Brexit, ministers have published amendments to the existing rules to make reference to the UK as a standalone entity.
For example, references in the Cultural Test (Television Programmes) Regulations 2013 to a “qualifying person” being someone who is ordinarily resident in the “United Kingdom or another EEA state” will now read “United Kingdom or an EEA state”.
While the change is subtle, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport says it’s important that it be implemented to avoid the “absurd situation” where “British directors, actors and other production personnel would not be eligible to score points under various sections of the test, whereas nationals or residents of any EEA state would.”
It’s claimed that “not addressing this deficient policy result would undermine the central objective behind the cultural tests and the wider creative sector tax reliefs: to encourage audio-visual production activity in the UK.”