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UK music industry faces significant risks if May’s Brexit deal passes, PM is warned

By | Published on Monday 14 January 2019


Recently launched music industry pressure group Music4EU this weekend presented a petition to Prime Minister Theresa May, raising concerns over the Brexit deal Parliament is due to vote on tomorrow. Over 1200 representatives from across the UK music industry have added their names to the petition, including Spotify UK MD Tom Connaughton, Ed Sheeran manager Stuart Camp and reps from Beggars Group, AIM, BASCA and the FAC.

Music4EU joins similar bodies in gaming and tech in calling for assurances that the UK’s exit from the European Union won’t damage their respective sectors. The group says that there are currently no measures to deal with a number of issues that will negatively impact on the livelihoods of musicians and those working behind the scenes in the music business. To that end, they are calling for a different better deal. And many in the music community would likely support a second referendum on the realities of Brexit.

Music4EU spokesperson Sammy Andrews says: “The current [Brexit] deal contains absolutely no assurances from the Prime Minister for the UK music industry, or any industry for that matter. That’s something that is reflected in the amount of industry leaders from a diverse range of [music] sectors that signed our petition. We have record labels, trade bodies, touring crew and artist managers, as well as global superstar artists and up and coming acts, not to mention publishers and distributors”.

“The government is in utter chaos right now, and the Prime Minister’s deal would isolate UK artists and the teams that support them, ending their ability to tour freely and putting jobs across the industry at risk”, she continues. “We’ll see what happens this week but maybe it’s time they let the people decide now that they understand the impact [Brexit] has on them?”

Her Music4EU colleague, lawyer Cliff Fluet, adds: “Under the slim pickings of Theresa May’s deal, the UK’s creative industries have every right to be worried. Our multi-billion-dollar industry not only creates jobs and opportunities for people across the UK, it is also a fundamental part of our culture and identity”.

“And for fans”, he goes on, “it means less gigs by your favourite European artists in the UK, and less touring and promotion for UK artists in Europe. It’s a lose-lose situation for Britain and Europe, for artists and fans. Most MPs agree, and with the Brexit deal likely to be voted down on Tuesday, it’s time for the government to take a different path”.

The delayed ‘meaningful vote’ on May’s Brexit deal in Parliament is set to take place tomorrow. The Prime Minister postponed the vote in December in the hopes that she could subsequently convince enough MPs to support it in order for it to be approved. Indications currently are that this has not worked in her favour and May is now warning MPs that if the deal is voted down, it risks Brexit not happening at all. Fingers crossed.