News came around 12 a.m. ET last night that a countrywide referendum in the U.K. had resulted in a vote for its exit from the European Union after 43 years. The music business has reacted with trepidation, and the impact of the decision will be significant. The statements below, from the country’s leading trade bodies as well as the European Commission, telegraph their resolve to see this dramatic change through.
Statement from International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI):
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. — CEO Frances Moore.
Statement from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) & BRIT Awards:
The outcome of the EU Referendum will come as a surprise to many across the music community, who will be concerned by the economic uncertainty that lies ahead and the impact this may have on business prospects.
However, the UK public has spoken, and once the short-term political and macro-economic consequences have played out, this decision will mean new priorities for the music industry in our work with Government. We will, of course, press the Government to swiftly negotiate trade deals that will ensure unimpeded access to EU markets for our music and our touring artists. Our Government will also now have the opportunity to legislate for stronger domestic copyright rules that encourage investment here in the UK and which will protect UK creators from piracy and from tech platforms siphoning off value through copyright loopholes. We are confident that British music will remain hugely popular across Europe and we will work hard to make sure UK labels are able to capitalise on that demand. — Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive. Read more here.
Statement from the Association of Independent Music (AIM):
Following today’s result on Brexit 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. — Alison Wenham, CEO.
Statement from IMPALA:
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.
We are the European Music Union and we will work hard to make it flourish.
Statement from UK Music:
“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. 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. “ — Andy Heath, chairman.
“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. In John Whittingdale, we have a politician who understands the creative and music sectors and will have our best interests at heart.” — Jo Dipple, CEO.
Joint statement from the leaders of the European Commission (video of the press conference is below):
In a free and democratic process, the British people have expressed their wish to leave the European Union. We regret this decision but respect it.
This is an unprecedented situation but we are united in our response. We will stand strong and uphold the EU’s core values of promoting peace and the well-being of its peoples. The Union of 27 Member States will continue. The Union is the framework of our common political future. We are bound together by history, geography and common interests and will develop our cooperation on this basis. Together we will address our common challenges to generate growth, increase prosperity and ensure a safe and secure environment for our citizens. The institutions will play their full role in this endeavour.
We now expect the United Kingdom government to give effect to this decision of the British people as soon as possible, however painful that process may be. Any delay would unnecessarily prolong uncertainty. We have rules to deal with this in an orderly way. Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union sets out the procedure to be followed if a Member State decides to leave the European Union. We stand ready to launch negotiations swiftly with the United Kingdom regarding the terms and conditions of its withdrawal from the European Union. Until this process of negotiations is over, the United Kingdom remains a member of the European Union, with all the rights and obligations that derive from this. According to the Treaties which the United Kingdom has ratified, EU law continues to apply to the full to and in the United Kingdom until it is no longer a Member.
As agreed, the “New Settlement for the United Kingdom within the European Union”, reached at the European Council on 18-19 February 2016, will now not take effect and ceases to exist. There will be no renegotiation.
As regards the United Kingdom, we hope to have it as a close partner of the European Union in the future. We expect the United Kingdom to formulate its proposals in this respect. Any agreement, which will be concluded with the United Kingdom as a third country, will have to reflect the interests of both sides and be balanced in terms of rights and obligations. — Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament; Donald Tusk, President of the European Council; Mark Rutte, Holder of the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU; and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission.