Saturday 22 September 2018

Archaeologists and curators leaving UK over Brexit fears

Heritage Atrophy in the UK
A no-deal Brexit would cause severe disruption across the UK’s culture, science and design sectors, industry leaders have said. The expected loss of EU funding and uncertainty over the status of EU nationals after March 2019 meant UK museums were already losing scientists, researchers and curators, and there was a shortage of archaeologists (David Batty, 'Archaeologists and curators leaving UK over Brexit fears ' Guardian, Sat 22 Sep 2018)
 Although the Brexit white paper states the UK will seek a culture and education accord with the EU, Bernard Donoghue, the director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, said cultural organisations believed the government was unlikely to replace European Union funding for museums and the arts in the event of a no-deal. “In the last six months, we’ve seen UK cultural organisations increasingly excluded from EU funding initiatives in anticipation of Brexit,” Donoghue said. “We’re already seeing a brain drain of skilled workers in the culture, science and design sectors who are leaving because either they know that the EU funding for their job is going to dry up or they’re insecure about the status of their jobs post-March 2019.” He added: “The effect of a no-deal on the whole of the economy would be so profound that when it comes to any kind of commitment about future funding, all bets are off. It’s difficult to imagine how the whole cultural sector will not be affected detrimentally.” [...] Loyd Grossman, the chairman of the Heritage Alliance, said a no-deal Brexit would have significant consequences for heritage projects, which received at least £450m in EU funding in 2007-16 and relied on significant numbers of EU workers. 
That places the future of the PAS a little under question, as this is precisely the time their current funding runs out. And where do we go when the PAS goes under? Their metal detecting partners largely voted 'leave' without thinking about the knockon effect this would have on the single factor that legitimates their hobby. With reduced funding there can be even less to support 'responsible' artefact hunting, and without that, the whole hobby looks questionable. 

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