The British Fashion Council has released a statement once again urging the government that a no-deal Brexit should be avoided at all costs. This statement comes two weeks ahead of the prestigious London Fashion Week, which starts on the 13th of September.
The BFC stated that in the event of a no-deal Brexit on the 31st of October, there would be a huge negative impact on the fashion industry, explaining that it would likely cost the industry almost 900 million pounds in just a year.
The UK fashion industry employs almost as many workers as the financial sector and is worth around 32 billion pounds, which has pushed the organisation to take a stand for the industry and the workers it employs.
It’s not clear who will bear the extra costs (business or consumer) due to the World Trade Organisation tariffs. But when it comes to the raised concerns about fashion talent, the BFC has been in talks with the Home office to deal with the issues of immigration, which will hopefully lead to legislation that will help bring high quality fashion talent to the UK, including a new Models Code of Practise to help international models work in the country.
Designers and those in working in the industry preparing to show their spring collections to buyers and press during London Fashion Week are facing uncertainty surrounding how they will face future challenges like higher prices due to tariffs and issues with transporting samples and components between continental Europe and the UK.
A statement by the British Fashion Council read:
“Of particular concern is the recommendation that the Tier 2 visa has a £30,000 minimum threshold on salary, with skilled roles in fashion manufacturing typically earning less than this. Similarly, this shortage occupation list does not cover any roles required by the high-end fashion industry. The BFC asks that the salary threshold and shortage occupation list are reviewed as a matter of urgency.”
Without the government looking into these concerns, the BFC believes that the UK fashion industry will suffer, making it impossible for them to retain its leading position in attracting global talent that the fashion industry needs.
“We urge the Government to seek a deal with the EU that would guarantee the healthy and steady growth of the fashion industry”, the statement began before calling for funding that would help British designers to remain competitive overseas through trading agreements.
For the BFC, it is of paramount importance that communication remains open to international students and talent – highlighting the fact that the fashion industry in Britain still wants them to bring their talents to the country.
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