Music Industry heavyweights call on the Prime Minister to reconsider Brexit

UK Music Industry calls for an alternative to Brexit. Cliff Fluet & Sammy Andrews deliver a Music4EU letter to the Prime Minister, 10 Downing Street, Westminster, London.
© Jess Hurd

Music4EU counts Spotify’s UK MD (Tom Connaughton), Fatboy Slim, Carl Barat, Jamie Cullum, Snow Patrol, Alan McGee, Primal Scream and Annie Lennox as its supporters.

The largest Brexit pressure group representing the UK’s Music industry, Music4EU descended on Downing Street yesterday to present their petition signed by over 1200 UK Music industry heavyweights including Spotify’s UK MD (Tom Connaughton), Fatboy Slim, Carl Barat (Libertines), Jamie Cullum, Snow Patrol, Alan McGee, Primal Scream & Annie Lennox.

Other signatories include some of the largest and most well respected trade bodies and record labels in the UK’s music business including the Beggars Group, The Association of Independent Music (AIM), Stuart Camp (Ed Sheeran’s manager) , British Academy of Songwriters Composers & Authors (BASCA) & The Featured Artist Coalition (FAC).

Music4EU spokesperson Sammy Andrews said of the petition “The current 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 sectors that signed our petition. We have record labels, trade bodies, touring crew & artist managers as well as global superstar artists and up and coming acts, not to mention publishers and distributors.”

She continued “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. We’ll see what happens this week but maybe it’s time they let the people decide now that they understand the impact it has on them?”

The petition comes just days after fellow creative industries groups Games4EU & TechForUK sent a joint letter to MPs echoing the message that the current deal addresses none of the gaming or tech industries’ concerns.

The music industry alone contributes a significant amount to the UK economy every year, over £4.5 billion in total. The UK’s world-beating artists helped to create exports of over £2.5 billion. Live music alone contributed £1bn to the UK economy, and freedom of movement is crucial to an artist’s ability to tour.

How can you help? If you’re a UK-based musician or music industry professional, sign your name to the list here.

Cliff Fluet of Music4EU said “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 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.”

Supporter of Music4EU, Eloise Todd, CEO of Best for Britain, added: “This coming Tuesday should mark a turning point in the Brexit process. If Theresa May’s deal is voted down as expected, MPs must listen to the industries, families and communities across the country who have spoken out against Brexit. It’s time for our country to take a different path and put the question of our EU membership to the people.”

Brexit represents a significant threat to the UK’s Music Industry. Leaving the EU’s customs union, single market, VAT area and regulatory framework could devastate the UK’s global market leadership in music, and damage artists’ freedom to trade and tour. The industry is also seeing several companies open offices outside the UK to remain in the EU framework, meaning less revenue into the UK economy.