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This week has been a calamitous one for the U.K. Government, and it’s only Tuesday morning. Yesterday the U.K. Prime Minister, Theresa May, canceled the parliament’s vote on her proposed Brexit deal at the last moment to avoid a humiliating defeat. One might presume the week is going to unravel further for the country’s beleaguered premier.

In contrast to this vignette of almost total disarray, a broad section of U.K. music industry artists and professionals have united to express their profound concerns about Brexit to the government. In a letter, announced this morning by grassroots group Music4EU, signatories from the sector declared “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.”

This type of cooperation in the archly competitive music industry can be a rare occasion. It is a measure of the consensus against the current Brexit situation that stars as diverse as Oscar-winning 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, are united in their concern.

Sammy Andrews
Sammy Andrews

Sammy Andrews, CEO of Deviate Digital and co-organizer of Music4EU, reflected on the industry’s alignment “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.”

The letter continues, “Brexit represents a significant threat to the U.K.’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.”

Leading U.K. industry bodies who have added their name to the letter include The Musicians UnionThe Association of Independent Music (AIM), Music Managers ForumBritish Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors (BASCA) and the Music Producers Guild. Also notable is the broad range of musical genres represented by the signatories. British Jazz Award and BBC Jazz Award-winner Jamie Cullum is a signatory alongside Fleet River Music who represent four-time Grammy winners, U.K. electronic duo The Chemical Brothers. The rock genre is also well represented by Raw Power who manage acts such as At The Drive-InBullet For My Valentine and punk veterans The Damned.

Paul Pacifico
Paul Pacifico (LUCY BIRKHEAD)

Paul Pacifico, the CEO of AIM, who provide a collective voice for the U.K.’s independent music industry, was clear about the sector’s financial significance to the U.K. economy: “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.”

The letter also highlights the significant revenue contribution made by the music business to the U.K. economy, “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.”

Sam Duckworth aka Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly (GETTY)

Sam Duckworth, the British artist who performs as “Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly” spoke to the broader cultural balance which is now at stake, “We need to make sure we don’t isolate ourselves from our wider cultural family… 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.”

Music4EU launched the letter this morning at 11 am GMT with an invitation for U.K. based musicians and music industry professionals to add their signatures. The letter and list of inaugural signatories can be viewed at, while music fans are encouraged to contact their MP and share the letter on social media via the website.

Disclosure – the author assisted in the formation of Music4EU, initiated in part by spontaneous music industry reaction to a previous article published on featuring Andrews.

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Originally published in Forbes.