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UK and international music industry trade bodies try to put a positive spin on Brexit

By | Published on Monday 27 June 2016

European Commission

With no one in Planet Politics seemingly that keen to write the book ‘What The Fuck Does Brexit Look Like?’ just yet, some of the trade bodies representing the music industry have said that they hope any negative impact on the UK and wider European music business can be minimised.

In doing so they echo the previously reported comments made by the boss of UK record industry trade group BPI, Geoff Taylor, who called on the British government to “swiftly negotiate trade deals that will ensure unimpeded access to EU markets for our music and our touring artists”. Taylor also wondered if a future UK government possibly having more control over its copyright regime might aid the industry’s campaign against safe harbours.

Elsewhere, the chair of cross-industry lobbying group UK Music, Andy Heath, told reporters on Friday: “Politics aside, a decision has now been made and it is important to minimise divisions amongst us. We are in a new world and we must move forward positively. British music is strong and successful and will remain an essential part of a rich and diverse European culture”.

“We should not be scared by change, we should see it as a positive opportunity”, he continued. “We are an export-led business and consumers around the world want our music, artists and products and this will not change after yesterday’s decision. UK Music will continue to protect and promote our members, creators and businesses to ensure they are best represented to continue achieving this global success”.

The organisation’s CEO Jo Dipple added: “Clearly there are lots of very important decisions that will be made over the next few weeks. We will have a new Prime Minister in the autumn, there will be a new government and UK Music will work very hard with the new administration to ensure the music industry continues to be well served by the British government. We need a united business voice to ensure that when renegotiations take place, markets continue to serve the music industry”.

Presumably hoping that Culture Secretary and pro-Brexiter John Whittingdale will still be part of that new administration, Dipple added: “In John Whittingdale we have a politician who understands the creative and music sectors and will have our best interests at heart”.

Giving things a global spin, Frances Moore of the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry expressed more concern than most about the immediate future, saying: “As an international recording industry, with businesses across all 28 EU member states, the interest of our sector was for the UK to remain in the European Union. The decision of the UK to leave the EU creates a great deal of uncertainty which could last for a considerable time. In this difficult period, IFPI will continue to work hard to ensure that our members’ interests are best represented on all the issues we deal with”.

Representing the independent label community, AIM’s outgoing CEO Alison Wenham said: “AIM will liaise closely with our members, other trade bodies and colleagues across the music industry to ensure that the strength and standing of the independent music community in the international marketplace is not diminished by these events”.

Meanwhile, pan-European indie label group IMPALA chipped in: “Change is on the way that’s for sure, but one thing is clear: the UK music sector will remain a fundamental player in Europe, which of course goes beyond the EU and we will continue to work hard to ensure that Brexit doesn’t interfere with the ability of European citizens to continue to enjoy UK music and vice versa. Breaking borders is what our labels do with their artists on a daily basis and that will continue”.

“We are all Europeans and AIM’s role within IMPALA will remain key – we have so much to achieve together”, the organisation continued. “We are the European Music Union and we will work hard to make it flourish”.

So there you go. I hope that makes you feel better.


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