December 11, 2018 11:01 AM

Top stars and Music Industry leaders align to trash Brexit deal

  • Grammy, Emmy, Brit and Oscar award-winning musicians sign letter calling for Brexit alternative
  • Annie Lennox, Chrissie Hynde, Jamie Cullum, Paloma Faith, and David Arnold are among the names
  • Call backed by several leading music industry bodies
  • Musicians sign letter saying Brexit is ‘threat’ in industry

A host of household names from the world of music have joined several leading UK music industry bodies in calling on the Government for an alternative to Brexit. Stars signing the letter drafted by Music4EU include Oscar-winning star Annie Lennox, Hall of Fame inductee Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, Brit-award winning pop star Paloma Faith, and Grammy/Emmy award-winning film composer David Arnold.

Industry bodies supporting the initiative include The Musicians Union, The Association of Independent Music, Music Managers Forum, British Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors and the Music Producers Guild. Signatories from the music management sector include "Shape of You" superstar Ed Sheeran's manager of seven years, Stuart Camp, management company Raw Power who represent At The Drive-In, Bullet For My Valentine and punk veterans The Damned, and Fleet River Management who represent four-time Grammy-winners The Chemical Brothers. 

Some of Britain’s most celebrated new talents are also backing the letter including Nadine Shah and band Public Service Broadcasting.

The letter states that “Brexit represents a significant threat to the UK’s Music Industry” and that “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” and that “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.”

Commenting, Sammy Andrews, CEO of Deviate Digital, and co-organiser of Music4EU said:

“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. Brexit is an unmitigated disaster for Britain’s world-leading music industry.”

Sam Duckworth who performs as “Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly” added saying:

“It’s a connected age, where diminishing rights and barriers to trade should be a thing of the past. We need to make sure we don’t isolate ourselves from our wider cultural family. Be it sharing a stage, a marketplace or as part of a team, Brexit is causing mass uncertainty. Music is a big part of the economy and is the front line of the warm British welcome. It is essential that we are given clear guidelines, promises and safeguards for this to continue.”

Paul Pacifico, the CEO of AIM, echoed many in the industry when sharing his concerns:

"In a moment when we need balance most, Brexit seems to play to the most divisive and negative instincts of our representatives across the political spectrum. In this atmosphere of hardening dogma, we must not sacrifice the future of our creative economy and the people and small businesses that are its lifeblood. We can too easily take for granted that British music has a special place in the world and for several decades it has punched above its weight. We must take care that any next steps in Brexit do not diminish our potential to excel across both the world’s cultural and commercial landscapes. The music industry delivered £4.5bn to the economy last year, and yet it feels like so far we have been utterly ignored in the Brexit deal. We, therefore, renew our call on all sides to include the specific provisions we need to continue to thrive."

Music4EU call for music industry professionals to add their voice:

Any UK-based musicians or music industry professionals can add their individual or company support to the letter by visiting https://music4eu.com/letter. Music4EU is a grassroots group from the UK music sector calling for a meaningful alternative to Brexit.

Ends

Notes to editors – The letter and the signatories can be found below:

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.

Yours sincerely

The signatories are as follows: 

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

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