Music industry heavyweights call for an alternative to Brexit

Open letter signed by Annie Lennox, Paloma Faith and Billy Bragg says leaving EU poses ‘significant threat’ to UK music business

Musicians and music industry figures including Annie Lennox, Paloma Faith and Billy Bragg have signed an open letter calling for an alternative to Brexit.

The letter, published by the Music4EU initiative, describes Brexit as a “significant threat” to the country’s music industry, adding: “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.” Concerns are also voiced over access to foreign markets and regulation over copyright, before a request to “examine alternative options to maintain our current influence and freedom to trade”.

Other signatories of the letter include Chrissie Hynde, Jamie Cullum, the Association of Independent Musicians (AIM), and the indie label conglomerate Beggars Group, as well as various festivals, concert promoters and management companies.

It is the second such letter to be published in recent months, with another – whose signatories included Damon Albarn, Rita Ora and Johnny Marr – in October arguing that Britain has “decided to put ourselves inside a self-built cultural jail” with the decision to leave the EU. It added concerns about rising costs for musicians as a result of a fall in the value of sterling.

In September, the head of the industry body BPI, Geoff Taylor, said that “bureaucracy could make it more difficult for British artists to promote their albums overseas in the EU if we don’t have an acceptable deal”. Taylor voiced concerned about manufacturing delays, touring restrictions, and a “weakening of our intellectual property protection”.


Ben Beaumont-Thomas

The GuardianTramp

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