BBC could move some operations to outside the UK after Brexit

BBC Director General Lord Hall giving evidence to the Public Accounts Select Committee. Photograph: PA Wire.

BBC Director General Lord Hall giving evidence to the Public Accounts Select Committee. Photograph: PA Wire.

PA Wire/PA Images

The BBC could move some of its operations to Belgium or Amsterdam after Brexit, the director general has revealed.

Lord Tony Hall said Belgian officials have been lobbying the British broadcaster, and there are also efforts to set up a base for the broadcaster in Amsterdam dependent on the outcome of Brexit negotiations.

The director general said it would be a means to maintain channels on the continent which would require licences in the European Union in order to continue being broadcast.

Lord Hall said he hopes BBC operations can all remain in the UK, and no decision has been made ahead of the Brexit deadline of March 29.

He also added that any BBC presence across the Channel would be minimal and constitute just a “handful” of staff.

Questioned at a Public Accounts Committee hearing by Labour MP Meg Hillier, Lord Hall was asked if the BBC would be moving.

MANDRAKE: The BBC’s remainer register exposed

He said: “The Belgians have been lobbying for it to be Brussels, others have been saying Amsterdam, others have been saying whatever.

“There is no decision and we’re just waiting to see what happens over the next few months.

“We might not need to make it. I hope we don’t need to make that decision, because actually far better to run everything from here.”

Lord Hall has not revealed the other potential locations the BBC might choose in order to maintain its broadcast rights for international channels such as BBC First, BBC Earth, BBC World and BBC Entertainment.

The director general said the plans and lobbying process are simply a prudent measure to keep European audiences.

He told the committee: “It depends on what happens. It’s simply us being cautious. We have channels that we run, markets in the rest of Europe, that we want to continue to be doing.

“If we were to move somewhere, and it depends entirely on what happens with the negotiations with Brexit and so on, if we were to move somewhere it would be a handful of people, four or five people.”

It is thought UK licences may not be valid for broadcast across the EU following Brexit, although UK programming will still be classed as European for the purposes of other nations’ strict quotas on artistic material from the continent being broadcast.

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £13

Become a Supporter

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

Find out more

Latest Articles

Most Read

latest issue

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Grassroots anti-Brexit campaigners are increasing the pressure on politicians ahead of Brexit day on March 29th. Here is a list of the events organised across the UK in the coming weeks.

Newsletter Sign Up

The New European regular newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy