Artists and musicians sign open letter calling for the cancellation of Brexit deal
Artists and musicians have joined forces to sign an open letter which calls for the cancellation of Theresa May’s current Brexit deal.
May, who herself cancelled the parliamentary vote amid the impending rejection, has been met with criticism for her backtracking. Robert Hazell, professor of government and the constitution at University College London (UCL), said: “I am surprised that the PM has deferred the vote. As the Speaker stated, it was a grave discourtesy to the House of Commons to defer the vote at such a late stage, when over 160 MPs had spoken in the five-day debate.”
Now, as chaos around the Brexit deal continues to grow, artists including Annie Lennox, The Libertines‘ Carl Barat, Nadine Shah, Billy Bragg and Blur‘s Dave Rowntree have hit out at May. On top of the specifically named musicians, a handful of the major music bodies have also signed the lengthy open letter. To name but a few, The Musicians Union, Music Managers Forum, British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors and the Music Producers Guild are all involved.
“Rarely do so many factions within the music industry unite on any subject, but Music4EU’s signatory list so far is a clear indication of the level of concern over the current mess, and how widely it impacts every corner of this sector,” said Sammy Andrews, CEO of Deviate Digital, and co-organiser of Music4EU. “Brexit is an unmitigated disaster for Britain’s world-leading music industry.”
“We, the signatories of this letter, represent artists, producers, managers, businesses, and platforms from across the Music Industry in the UK and are writing to express our real concerns over Brexit and the current direction of the UK’s proposed departure from the EU.
“Brexit represents a significant threat to the UK’s Music Industry. Leaving the EU’s customs union, single market, VAT area and regulatory framework (in whole or part) could devastate our global market leadership, and damage our freedom to trade, tour and to promote our artists and our works.
“The music industry contributes £4.5 billion to the UK economy, and our world-beating artists helped to create exports of over £2.5 billion, which is growing fast in a global digital music business. Live music is at the heart of every artist’s business and contributed around £1bn to the UK economy, and freedom of movement is core to an artist’s ability to tour and promote their art.
“The EU’s proposed reforms to the Digital Single Market, many of which were submitted by the UK, are intended help consumers and technology businesses grow the market yet further, and the proposals for the EU Copyright Directive are designed to help protect the value of our industry’s output on major technology platforms. The UK music industry could be at a significant disadvantage to our peers in the countries remaining in the EU without these protections.
“According to a survey conducted by UK Music on the Music Industry’s views on Brexit, only 2% thought Brexit would have a positive impact on their chances of work.
“In the Post-Brexit UK, there is a clear risk that reaching consumers and fans will be more expensive, and international markets will be harder to access. Live events will run the danger of being delayed or even canceled, which would undermine the financial and cultural benefits that this vibrant sector brings to UK PLC.
“No-one voted for this situation, whether they voted Leave or Remain. It is critical to find a way out of this mess, and therefore we ask you to examine alternative options to maintain our current influence and freedom to trade.”
The full list of signatures:
Paloma Faith Alan McGee Annie Lennox Nick Mason – Pink Floyd Chrissie Hynde Carl Barat – The Libertines Nadine Shah Stuart Camp – Grumpy Old Management Dave Rowntree – Blur Association of Independent Music (AIM) Beggars Group Billy Bragg Music Managers Forum (MMF) Public Service Broadcasting Enter Shikari David Arnold Jamie Cullum Musicians Union (MU) Music Producers Guild (MPG) Featured Artist Coalition (FAC) Fran Healy – Travis Broadwick Live Kilimanjaro Live Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) Coda Boomtown Festival Nitin Sawhney Fleet River Management Solo Agency British Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors (BASCA) Blood Red Shoes British Sea Power Get Cape Wear Cape Fly Ben Robinson – From The Fields – Blue Dot / Kendal Calling Ed Harcourt Cll Jon Tolley – Banquet Records Lightning Seeds Stephen Budd The Subways Red Grape music Peggy Seeger David Manders – Liquid management Beach Riot Ralph Lawson – 20/20 vision recordings Craig Jennings – Raw Power Danny Goffey – Supergrass Revered And The Makers Mark Davyd Sammy Andrews – Deviate Digital Cliff Fluet Emma Greengrass Simon Esplen Alistair Norbury Paloma Faith Marillion Emmy The Great Danielle Perry – Miss Perry Presents Ltd Cannibal Hymns Tigercub Stephen Taverner – East City Management Carwyn Ellis – Pretenders Band Of Skulls Chris Carey – Media Insight Consulting and FastForward Ros Earls – 104db management Jonathan Wood – Ooosh! Tours Ltd Peter Quicke – Ninja Tune Laurence Bell – Domino Recording Company John Giddings – Solo Agency Amy Bee Sting- Oh My God! It’s The Church Bill Ryder-Jones Ellie Giles – Step Music Management Kevin Fleming – Warp Records Andy Edwards Mick Patterson Kat Kennedy – Big Life Management