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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.”

[MORE] – How the UK’s music scene would suffer through a no-deal Brexit

Read the letter in full: 

“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)
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
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
Sammy Andrews – Deviate Digital
Cliff Fluet
Emma Greengrass
Simon Esplen
Alistair Norbury
Paloma Faith
Emmy The Great
Danielle Perry – Miss Perry Presents Ltd
Cannibal Hymns
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 – 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