Arts leaders have warned that restricting freedom of movement after Brexit could have a devastating impact on the UK's creative industries.

A survey of 50 prominent figures from fields including music, theatre and publishing found more were concerned about the continued access to talent than they were about Government funding.

Some 46 out of 50 said that a "hard Brexit", leaving the single market and its freedom of movement, would have either a negative or devastating impact on their industries.

Loading article content

The survey, by think tank Global Future, found that 42 thought the UK's cultural diversity was one of the chief reasons for its success in the arts, 46 thought there was a risk to the country's soft power and creative reputation, and 41 thought morale had fallen since the European Union referendum.

Musician and composer Nitin Sawhney said: "Brexit has been a total disaster from its inception to its current execution.

"The impact on the arts will be devastating as it will restrict free movement of artists across Europe and have a hugely negative impact on the perception of the UK as a multicultural hub of creativity and free expression."

Paul Roseby, CEO and Artistic Director of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, said: "Brexit is a clear act of self harm, and is scarring our future growth and creative planning. We need to interrogate the cost of Brexit so far, on a daily basis and compare that budget to the jobs and opportunities it could be better spent on."

Ian Moss, director of public affairs at music industry body BPI warned against measures which could hamper acts' ability to tour on the continent after Brexit.

The music industry is an open and diverse industry," he said. "The ability to work collaboratively, tour and showcase in the EU is a critical part of our industry and we want this to continue with no regulatory or financial barriers."

Gurnek Bains, CEO of Global Future, said: "Britain's creative industries employ more people than our financial sector and make a hugely important contribution to our economy, as well as driving our soft power in the world.

"Until now their voice has not be heard properly in the debate about our future.

"But this survey shows that leaders in this industry regard a hard Brexit, which would severely restrict their ability to hire the talent needed to thrive, now threatens one of the things that makes Britain great."