The Publishers Association launches a blueprint for UK publishing


The Publishers Association launches A Blueprint for UK Publishing with 10 priorities for government at The London Book Fair.

The UK Government must be steadfast in its support for ‘gold standard’ intellectual property rights and radical in its commitment to promoting digital if the £7.8bn UK publishing industry is to make the most of global free trade opportunities after Brexit, according to a group of the UK’s leading publishing houses.

Continued access to global talent, a sustainable Open Access academic publishing regime, and ensuring fair online marketplaces are also top priorities for one of the UK’s most successful export sectors, which supports more than 70,000 British jobs and generates a £1.1bn trade surplus annually, with 70% of current exports already going outside the EU.

UK publishers export more physical books than any other country and the UK’s consumer, academic and education publishers are recognised as world leaders, contributing to Britain’s standing as a global R&D powerhouse and as the creative centre of the world.

The United States, China and India have different approaches to intellectual property laws, including copyright and exhaustion of rights, and independent positions on issues such as freedom of speech, data protection and digital trade. The UK’s position on all of these may be viewed by foreign trade negotiators as bargaining chips in future trade discussions.

The blueprint and the challenges and opportunities faced by the UK publishing sector after Brexit will be debated at a panel discussion today at The London Book Fair, with panellists including:

  • Baroness Rona Fairhead CBE, Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, Department for International Trade
  • Lis Tribe, Group Managing Director, Hodder Education and President, Publishers Association
  • Miriam Gonzalez, Durantes, Co-Chair of International Trade and Government Regulation, Dechert LLP
  • Stephen Lotinga, Chief Executive, Publishers Association (Chairperson)

Stephen Lotinga, Chief Executive of the Publishers Association, said:

“Britain has been the world’s publisher for more than 300 years. From Jane Eyre to Harry Potter and from On the Origin of Species to A Brief History of Time, works published in Britain help to shape our national identity and the way others see us around the world – and they underpin our £92bn UK creative industries sectors here at home.

“Our sector’s success is supported by certain things which enable it to thrive. These include free access to global talent and ideas, a strong system of intellectual property rights which incentivises new thinking and creativity, freedom of speech and freedom to publish, unrestricted access to global export markets, and fair digital markets. These must not be traded away during negotiations in the broader interests of striking new FTAs, either now or after we leave the EU.”

Baroness Rona Fairhead, Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, said:

“The UK publishing industry is one of our huge success stories. It has promoted the British people, culture, landscape and commerce across the world for generations – and continues to make an invaluable contribution to Britain’s global reputation.

“The Department for International Trade will continue to work with the industry to ensure publishers have the support they need to export and grow, and continue to seize opportunities in markets the world over.”

The Blueprint

The Publishers Association’s blueprint for UK publishing – 10 asks of government:

  1. Maintain access to global talent and ideas

  2. Support and improve our gold standard copyright framework

  3. Commit to free speech and freedom to publish

  4. Maintain a sustainable approach to open access policy for research

  5. Ensure quality control through national exhaustion for intellectual property

  6. Maximise our ability to export to all markets

  7. Lead the way on rights enforcement

  8. Enable cross-border data flows

  9. Zero rate VAT on epublications

  10. Ensure fair online markets

Download the Blueprint.