Business lobbyists have seized upon Game of Thrones in the debate over what Brexit should look like, claiming that the wrong deal could kill off the beloved TV series.
According to the UK’s Institute of Directors (IoD), a group whose director-general Simon Walker officially backed the campaign to remain in the EU, a reinstated border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland could drive HBO out of both countries.
The show – which is filmed partly in Northern Ireland – is mentioned in a new IoD report warning of obstacles to the creative industries.
The report said: “This could create significant problems for the 250 cross-border movie, television and radio companies who are currently part of a thriving all-Ireland industry.”
Seamus Nevin, the report’s author, suggests that Brexit could complicate such arrangements as flying the cast into the country ahead of filming. He added that there could be problems with cross-border licensing as well as tax implications.
However, while the IoD report portrays a negative future for the hugely popular series, HBO has released a statement in June saying “We do not anticipate that the result of the EU referendum will have any material effect on HBO producing Game of Thrones.”
More importantly, the timescale of Britain’s exit means any interference with the show is very unlikely.
HBO has confirmed that it will continue the production of Game of Thrones for two more seasons, meaning the series would potentially end around 2018 or 2019 depending on the filming schedule.
If Britain leaves the EU by 2019 – as planned by Theresa May – it is unlikely to hit the beloved series, because the filming would have already been done.