UK Music, the national umbrella body for the music industry, has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson with a warning that the government needs to make swift progress on securing a trade deal and copyright changes to support the music industry.
While welcoming the Government’s legislative commitments in the Queen’s Speech to extend business rate relief to grassroots music venues and an earlier announcement in the Conservative Party manifesto to introduce an arts premium in schools, UK Music deputy CEO Tom Kiehl outlines two crucial areas where he urged the Government to move quickly to help the UK music industry build on the record £5.2 billion it contributed to the British economy in 2018, as revealed in UK Music’s Music By Numbers report, published in November.
With regard to the EU Copyright Directive, Kiehl comments:
‘Last year European Union institutions agreed the Copyright Directive. The Directive will improve the way creators and those that invest in them are financially rewarded for the use of music online.
‘We ask the Government to guarantee that the core principles of the Directive are reflected in UK copyright law by the end of 2020. The Government must set out a road map outlining how it intends to take the Directive and its key proposals forward. Failure to deliver these vital changes would mean the UK is out of step with its largest music market.
On the issue of securing a trade deal, Kiehl says:
‘To continue to build on this world leading success story artists and creators need to be able to tour internationally. This is however in jeopardy if a free trade agreement at the end of the Brexit transitional phase does not take into account the music industry’s needs.
‘As part of discussions on a future free trade agreement with the EU, the Government must back plans for a single EU-wide live music ‘touring passport’ to avoid burdensome new restrictions. Our future relationship with the European Union has historically been based on reciprocal cultural exchange and this needs to be secured by the end of the year.’