Almost 700,000 people marched on Parliament in London last week calling for a ‘people’s vote’ on the substance of the Brexit deal. Leavers say that it would be undemocratic to hold another vote. Remainers say that the consequences of Brexit will reliably outweigh the consequences of any single general election (we have one of those at least every five years!) and therefore it would be undemocratic NOT to hold another referendum.
Whatever your view, whether you’re a Leaver or a Remainer, a Brexiteer or a Remoaner, most people agree that the decision to take the various legal, political and economic protections and restrictions that go with the European Union, and remove them from the United Kingdom, will have some significant consequences.
One such consequence relates to the music industry.
Tjinder Singh, the lead singer of indie rock band ‘Cornershop’, is organising a protest involving people from the music industry and arguing the consequences of Brexit for the music industry will be significant and damaging (affecting everything from touring and sales to copyright and royalties).
He also argues that from a practical perspective, fewer musicians will be able to use Britain as a base for European tours because it will be more difficult and more expensive to move people and equipment around Europe.
Other musicians, including the Chemical Brothers and Pink Floyd, have pointed out that no less than 60 per cent of revenues paid to UK artists come from the EU (facilitated by the free sharing of data and an absence of import fees and other restrictions, things which are now potentially threatened by the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union).
But beyond issues relating to logistics and coin, many musicians are chiefly concerned about Brexit simply because they say that embracing and respecting other cultures is and has always been part of music and the industry. And, because Brexit necessarily involves the United Kingdom isolating itself in certain respects, it is antithetical to that inclusive perspective.
It remains to be seen how Brexit will affect the music and other industries. In the meantime Briffa will be monitoring the outcome of the negotiations between the UK and the EU and will be running a series of Brexit-related seminars and events in Q1 2019 to keep clients in various sectors and industries updated on how Brexit is likely affect them and their businesses. Stay tuned.
Written by Éamon Chawke