After months of waiting and speculation, Prime Minister Theresa May is today (March 29) finally set to trigger Article 50 and make official Britain's intentions to leave the European Union. The Brexit process is likely to be a fraught one for many aspects of the music biz. Speaking exclusively to Music Week, UK Music CEO Jo Dipple has set out the trade body's plans for a successful exit strategy.
First and foremost, Dipple has stressed how important it is for the UK music industry to remember - and, indeed, draw attention to - its significant status on the global stage.
“Navigating towards our EU exit in April 2019 will be hard and Government must use its strongest hand to steer," said Dipple. "Globally successful, British music offers potent soft power and a ready-made diplomatic language. Because the UK is the best at music per head, we define our country as being the best too. Ed Sheeran broke the Spotify streaming record; Adele’s 25 sold more copies in just its first week than the other best-selling album of 2015, Taylor Swift’s 1989, sold all year in the US; Stormzy’s album Gang Signs & Prayer was self-released but still managed to hit No.1 on the Official UK Chart."
Dipple also stressed the need for the Government to not only follow through with its promises to the creative industries, but to also proactively listen and respond to them accordingly.
“The Prime Minister committed to offering a unique sector-deal to the creative industries," added Dipple. "This is the right approach for a sector growing at three times the rate of the rest of the economy and which supports one in eleven jobs. We are the future now. Ministers need to listen to the creative sector when it talks of the opportunities and challenges ahead. Leaving the EU can’t make our music any less good. It might, though, make the framework for its success a lot stronger."
In reference to the actual ways in which the UK music industry may stand to benefit from Brexit, Dipple cites numerous grounds for optimism, while also remaining cautious about the potential pitfalls.
"Some of the specifics we highlighted in our own industrial strategy included maintaining and strengthening the current copyright structure, and ensuring ease of movement for musicians and crews when touring Europe," offered Dipple. "Getting the post EU-framework right for music means more jobs, more young people in apprenticeships, bigger export strength, more diplomatic power and more tax revenue flowing in from every city, nation and region. Getting it wrong probably means a return to punk rock.”