LONDON: Just 38% of European Union nationals who work in the UK’s marketing and creative industries say they will “definitely” or “probably” stay in the country after Brexit, according to a new survey.

Conducted by Centaur, the parent company of Marketing Week, which was first to publish the findings, the survey also revealed that 31% of EU nationals said they will definitely or probably leave the UK, while another 31% said they were unsure.

The Centaur research, which involved 2,000 readers of Marketing Week, Design Week and Creative Review, also confirmed widespread pessimism among marketers and creatives about the implications of the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

Industry bodies, such as the Advertising Association, as well as a number of leading practitioners, have frequently warned about the potential loss of talent once the UK leaves the EU’s system for allowing the free movement of people across borders.

According to Marketing Week, that is backed up by the issues that those working in the marketing and creative industries “see as most important in any Brexit deal”.

When asked to rank the importance of various issues on a scale up to five, indicating “very important”, respondents assigned scores of between 4.5 and 4.3 to free trade with the EU, the rights of EU citizens in the UK and of UK citizens in the EU, as well as visa-free travel to the EU.

By contrast, control of UK borders, the primacy of British courts, minimising the “Brexit bill” and the primacy of Parliament received scores of between 3.2 and 3.4.

Elsewhere, the survey revealed that a full 81% of respondents voted to remain in the EU – a substantially higher margin than the 48% of the overall population who voted to remain in June 2016.

Of these marketing and creative “remainers”, 87% said the UK should stay in the EU’s single market – an option taken up by some non-EU members, such as Norway – while two-thirds (65%) supported a transition period.

A similar proportion (63%) agreed that there should be a second referendum, although the industry appears resigned to Brexit happening, with just 19% of respondents agreeing that they didn’t think Brexit “will happen”.

And although the survey was carried out before the pre-Christmas breakthrough in negotiations that allowed talks to move on to trade, it still revealed deep unease about the potential impact of Brexit on jobs and company prospects.

For example, a net balance of 59% reported that a “no deal” scenario would have a negative impact on their company, while half said it would have a negative impact on their own job.

Sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by WARC staff