London-headquartered super indie Argonon has unveiled its stance on the UK’s European Union (EU) referendum ahead of Thursday’s (June 23) vote.
Argonon CEO James Burstall consulted with the film and TV prodco’s board and senior executives over the vote, deciding ultimately that voting to remain within the EU would be “in the best interests of [Britain's] people and the UK film and TV industry.”
“I am a passionate Brit and I love Britain,” said Burstall in a statement. “I also feel a personal, professional and moral responsibility to make our view clear because I believe this to be in the best interests of Argonon and its people, the UK film and television industry and indeed the UK as a whole.”
Argonon – the parent company to such prodcos as Leopard USA, Remedy Productions, BriteSpark Films and Windfall Films – provides a number of reasons behind voting in favor of remaining.
The super indie reasons that one-third of the UK’s TV exports heads East into Europe, amounting to £330 million (US$485 million) and leading to production support and job creation. An exit by the UK would also affect workers’ rights across the media landscape, which are currently protected by EU law.
Thirty percent of Argonon’s distribution, sales and pre-sales come from Europe, which also supports production and job creation.
A departure from the EU would further mean a departure from EU Creative and Media Funding, which, the company argues, will make it increasingly difficult for UK-based prodcos to raise finance, co-produce, fund production and compete for top international talent.
In addition, Argonon believes remaining in the EU would provide the UK with a powerful and distinct advantage to be seated “at the top table” of one of the world’s three largest economies, alongside the U.S. and China.
Elsewhere, a member survey conducted a few weeks back by British independent producers association Pact showed that 85% of its members intend to vote to remain, while 15% intend to vote to leave.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced in February that a referendum would be held this summer to determine whether Britain should exit the 28-member bloc after increasing calls from Conservative MPs and the UK Independence Party (UKIP), who have argued against high levels of immigration, relinquishing control of the country’s own affairs and the state of global competitiveness of British business.
Those campaigning for Britain to remain in the EU counter that the country receives more than it loses from membership, including beneficial trading and the flow of working immigrants, which fuels the nation’s economic growth and public services.
According to the latest opinion polls conducted by British pubcaster BBC, UK citizens are “fairly even” on an exit from the EU.
With files from Manori Ravindran