Musicians are speaking out about the possibility that the United Kingdom and the European Union could fail to come up with a Brexit deal before the end of October — and what that could mean specifically for their industry.
“We are about to make a very serious mistake regarding our giant industry and the vast pool of yet undiscovered genius that lives on this little island,” an open letter to Prime Minister Theresa May from a group of musicians in the UK stated.
The letter was organized and written by Bob Geldof, reported Billboard. Geldof, who was instrumental (pardon the pun) in putting together the Band Aid and Live Aid concerts in the 1980s, was joined by a handful of UK artists, including Ed Sheeran, Nick Mason, Rita Ora, Sting, Neil Tennant, and many others.
Another signer of the document, choral music composer Howard Goodall, expressed his own concerns about the possibility that a deal can’t be reached. Brexit could affect passports and travel, the letter stated, as well as “sales, copyright legislation, [and] royalty collation.”
“People are going to lose their jobs if there’s no deal, and even if there is a Chequers-style deal, there will be no provision for this kind of professional travel,” Goodall wrote in a separate statement, according to The Guardian. “Everything is going to change.”
Bob Geldof has joined forces with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Johnny Marr, Sting, Rita Ora and more in penning a cautionary letter to Theresa May about Brexit's potential negative impact upon the music industry.https://t.co/eRnATBEWfs
— Hot Press (@hotpress) October 8, 2018
The lack of a substantial deal for artists could result in a “cultural jail,” wherein UK artists would be unable to thrive outside of the country, and other acts would be unable (or unwilling) to come to Britain, Scotland, Wales or other areas.
During a speech last week, May herself said she believed a deal could still be reached between the UK and the European Union. She warned against trying to find a “perfect Brexit” solution, urging lawmakers and negotiators to work toward a plan that would be agreeable to both sides in time for her nation’s exit from the EU.
“We are entering the toughest part of the negotiations… If we stick together and hold our nerve, I know we can get a deal that delivers for Britain,” she added, per previous reporting from Inquisitr.
Some lawmakers are upset with May for failing to produce a negotiated plan up to this point, as well as electoral losses her Conservative Party had in Parliament in 2016. Conservative Party Member of Parliament James Duddridge even called for May to step down from her leadership position following the end of her speech last week.