Damon Albarn, Rita Ora, Jarvis Cocker and Ed Sheeran among UK musicians to sign open letter against Brexit

The letter to Theresa May circulated by Bob Geldof warned that the UK could become "a cultural jail"

Damon Albarn, Rita Ora, Jarvis Cocker and Ed Sheeran are among the UK music names to have signed an open letter to Prime Minister Theresa May in protest of Brexit.

The letter was drafted by Sir Bob Geldof and also signed by the likes of  Brian Eno, Bobby Gillespie, Johnny Marr, Nick Mason, Alan McGee, William Orbit, Neil Tennant, Roger Taylor, Paul Simon and Sting.

The damning warning claims that the UK music industry’s “vast voice” would be silenced inside a “self-built cultural jail” should Britain leave the EU. Calling for a move “towards a second vote”, the letter claims that a “botched Brexit” would “impact every aspect of the music industry. From touring to sales, to copyright legislation to royalty collation”.


“We dominate the market and our bands, singers, musicians, writers, producers and engineers work all over Europe and the world and in turn, Europe and the world come to us,” the letter reads. “Why? Because we are brilliant at it … [Our music] reaches out, all inclusive, and embraces anyone and everyone. And that truly is what Britain is.”

“But Brexit threatens, as it does so much else, this vast voice. This huge global cultural influencer. We are about to make a very serious mistake regarding our giant industry and the vast pool of yet undiscovered genius that lives on this little island.”

Bob Geldof
Bob Geldof

This comes after a similar warning from British Phonographic Industry (BPI) last month.

The BPI said that a “strong” agreement with the EU is needed to ensure that the financial impact of  music imports and exports is not negatively impacted by Britain’s EU exit.

This is after the BPI revealed record exports for 2017 – an eighteen year high of £408m.  When broken down, the figures show that one in eight albums purchased across the globe in 2017 was by a UK artist.


Stressing the importance of a strong Brexit deal, BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said: “Our music not only enriches the lives of fans around the world, it makes a major contribution to the UK economy through overseas sales and by attracting numerous visitors to the UK.

“With Brexit approaching, music can help to showcase what is exciting about the UK as we forge new trading relationships, but only if our government supports us by ensuring a strong Brexit deal that enables artists to tour freely, robustly protects music rights, and prevents physical music products being impeded in transit.”

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