BBC DG Brexit hope: ‘handful will move to continent’
January 31, 2019
The BBC Director General has confirmed to an MPs committee it will probably establish an HQ for its European operations in either Brussels or Amsterdam.
Tony Hall told the Public Accounts committee a small office would be set up in a continental capital in order that country of origin restrictions once the UK is out of the EU don’t stop the transmission of BBC channels beyond the UK. Many legal experts though, predict his assertion of ‘only a handful of staff – four or five people’ moving will not be enough to satisfy the EU. The regulations stipulate that operations seeking country of origin licenses inside the EU must be ‘substantially’ based there.
Hall said he still hoped all operations could remain in the UK and no final decisions would be made before March 29. However, if the UK ‘crashes out’ without a transition deal or an extension to Article 50 it is possible BBC channels will be outside the regulations from day one.