UK Music chief 'disappointed' by absence of agent of change proposals in Queen's speech

UK Music chief 'disappointed' by absence of agent of change proposals in Queen's speech

UK Music chief executive Michael Dugher has voiced his disappointment at the Queen’s failure to address the agent of change principle in her speech today.

In a speech that was heavy on Brexit proposals aimed at ensuring a smooth departure from the EU, the Queen spoke of legislation to end free movement across the EU, whilst also discussing a Digital Charter aimed at monitoring “harmful behaviours and content online”, although no specific details were divulged.

The Queen also pledged to put in place a legal framework that would enable the UK to cut free trade deals with countries around the world.

Commenting on the Queen’s Speech, UK Music chief executive Michael Dugher said: “We welcome the chance offered by the Trade Bill in the Queen’s Speech to build on the UK music industry’s £2.2 billion export contribution. The Trade Bill is an ideal opportunity for the Government to stress that copyright and its enforcement should be a key part of the trade negotiations and that the UK creative industries must not be used as a bargaining chip in any trade talks.

“We welcome proposals for a new Digital Charter and hope it will cover the vital issues concerning infringements of copyright and intellectual property.”

Dugher continued: “UK Music will be holding the Government to account to get the best possible Brexit deal for the thousands of people who work and depend on the UK music industry. The proposed Immigration Bill must reassure EU workers in the UK music industry about their futures and ensure that we can still attract  talented people from overseas to work in the industry.

“Any changes to the immigration system must not put unnecessary barriers in the path touring artists visiting the UK or our artists touring abroad.”

Elsewhere, Dugher lamented the decision not to highlight the agent of change principle, which would seek to protect small live music venues by ensuring that new developments built close to such venues would be responsible for soundproofing their new-builds.

“We are disappointed that the Queen’s Speech does not include any agent of change proposals – a simple planning reform that would protect the future of many live music venues. We will continue to fight for this important change to protect our cherished music venues and to campaign against any proposed legislation that could damage our industry.”

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