Government Relations


Since the EU referendum, the BFC has engaged directly with government and organisations including the Creative Industries Council (CIC) and Creative Industries Federation (CIF), whose remit is to represent the whole of the creative industries to ensure that challenges and opportunities are presented to government in one coherent message.

The below timeline outlines the BFC’s engagement with the government on the subject of Brexit on behalf of the fashion industry.


June 2016

  • Before the referendum, the BFC conducted a survey asking 500 designers their view on Brexit. Of the 290 who responded, 90% stating their preference to Remain, 4.3% voted to Leave, 2.4% were Undecided and 2.8% stated that they would Not Vote
  • The BFC worked with the CIC on Create Together, a growth strategy for the UK creative industries, developed for industry and by industry with support from government. It represents a shared vision and is action-orientated to support the growth of the creative industries for the next five years.
  • The UK voted to leave the European Union


July 2016

  • The BFC hosted six roundtable discussions with representatives from 82 British based designer businesses and PRs, of which the following issues were identified as the key challenges for our industry leaving the EU:

- Talent & Skills
- Customs Tariffs & Red Tape
- Trade deals with non-EU countries
- Intellectual Property
- Post EU incentives for growth
- Reputation as being open for business

  • BFC representative attended a roundtable discussion with Vicky Forde MEP (Member of the European Parliament) and Chairman of the European Parliament Internal Market and Consumer Affairs Committee
  • The BFC lobbied the Treasury, Department of Communities and Local Government and the Mayor of London to unlock the pause on European Development Funding (ERDF).  The BFC receives funding from ERDF to promote designers and support their international development
  • The BFC engaged in conversation with counterparts in Milan and Paris regarding Brexit 


September 2016

  • London Fashion Week September 2016 focused around promoting the message “London is Open” in support of the Mayor of London at a press conference in the City which engaged business media and expanded reach beyond the creative industries
  • The BFC met with counterparts in Milan and Paris to discuss the implications of Brexit 
  • The Prime Minster, The Rt Hon Theresa May MP, hosted an event during London Fashion Week at 10 Downing Street to celebrate British fashion, with a focus on the strength of the industry, its inclusiveness and education


October 2016

  • The BFC responded to the House of Lords EU Internal Market Sub-Committee, which launched an inquiry on the subject of trade in non-financial services after Brexit, including the creative sector, this official response is publically available and sets out the findings from the round table
  • BFC contributed to a report [click to view] by the CIF and the CIC to highlight the impact of leaving the EU on the UK’s arts, creative industries and cultural education and what should be done. This report was presented to government and DCMS
  • The BFC attended a meeting with CIC, CIF and DCMS to present the findings of the report
  • The BFC Responds to the DCMS Brexit inquiry into the impact of Brexit on the creative industries, tourism and the digital single market


December 2016

  • The BFC met with Vicki Forde MEP to discuss the Digital Single Market Bill and Brexit
  • The BFC hosted a roundtable for British based manufacturers to discuss the issues around Brexit


January 2017

  • The Prime Minster, The Rt Hon Theresa May MP, sets out her government’s 12 point plan for Brexit
  • The Prime Minster, The Rt Hon Theresa May MP, launches Industrial Strategy Green Paper, highlighting creative industries as a one of five early sector deals
  • Roundtable hosted by Tamara Cincik on behalf of Sharon Hodgson MP, for members of the fashion industry including a representative of the BFC, attended by The Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP, Chair of the Exiting the EU Select Committee
  • CIF roundtable hosted with The Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP, Chair of the Exiting the EU Select Committee for the key representatives from creative industries including the BFC
  • The Creative Industries, including fashion, were represented at a DCMS Select Committee hearing by John Kampfner, CIF and Nicola Mendelsohn CBE, Chair of the CIC and Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair of Arts Council England, who gave evidence at the first hearing of the select committee examining the impact of Brexit


February 2017

  • The British Fashion Council updates stakeholders on activity to date
  • The BFC attended a reception hosted by The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
  • The BFC has been invited to contribute to the Creative Industries industrial strategy
  • A BFC representative attended a roundtable The Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport with stakeholders from the creative industries to discuss the issues the UK’s exit from the EU
  • The BFC met with retailers to discuss the potential challenges around leaving the EU single market, in particular in relation to tariffs and frictionless movement of goods – 15th February 2017

March 2017

  • The BFC hosted a roundtable with key sectors from within the fashion industry in the presence of The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Minister of State for Digital and Culture policy. The fashion industry sectors represented were: designers, brands, retail, e-commerce, photographers, model agents, manufacturers, investors, legal and education.
  • The BFC Annual Designer Survey will include questions specific to issues surrounding Brexit to inform government and aide them in their negotiations, findings available in March


April 2017

  • BFC submitted a response to the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper consultation. The BFC continues to feed into the Creative Industries 'Sector Deal' proposal through the Creative Industries Council. A copy of the response is available to download here.