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DAVID JOSEPH, MARTIN MILLS DRAW JOINT BATTLE LINE OVER #BREXIT

Universal U.K. boss David Joseph and Beggars chief Martin Mills—the top brass from Britain’s major and independent music industries—have joined forces to urge those working in the U.K. business to vote "Remain" ahead of Thursday's EU referendum.

In a letter obtained by Music Business Worldwide, Joseph and Mills say that if Britain leaves the EU, it faces an economic, political, social and cultural disaster. As it stands, opinion polls indicate that said "disaster" is a very real possibility with various surveys indicating a slight sway either way. 

If the British public vote "Leave," the music industry has raised concerns over the U.K. no longer being able to benefit from the new EU copyright framework, which could include specific provisions to protect performers and authors, as well as the new strategy for a European Digital Single Market. Promoting artists cross-borders could also prove difficult thanks to potential visa issues.

Said Joseph and Mills: “No one thinks the EU is perfect. It’s undeniably flawed. But when your family is imperfect, you don’t abandon it—you stay with it, and seek to make it better. That’s what we need to do here."

The duo point to the arguments made by The Economist, that said Britain as a whole is "likely to end up poorer, less open and less innovative. Far from reclaiming its global outlook, it will become less influential and more parochial. And without Britain, all of Europe would be worse off."

Joseph and Mills continued: “Those economic arguments make even more sense for the creative industries. But this isn’t just about business. Music is all about collaboration, embracing and respecting other cultures. A collective mindset which we want to preserve, and one which feels at odds with Brexit, a campaign born of populism and the instinct to pull up the drawbridge.”

Earlier this month, 282 names from Britain’s creative industries signed an open letter also urging the British public to vote "Remain." Among them were David Joseph, Rough Trade co-founder Geoff Travis and Featured Artists Coalition co-chairs Sandie ShawPink Floyd’s Nick Mason and Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien. Artists who’ve pledged their support include Jessie Ware, Imogen Heap, Rudimental, Paloma Faith, Editors and Franz Ferdinand.

A BPI survey reported that 68% of 142 members wanted to see the U.K. stay within the European Union. That figure rises to 78% for the participants that were firm in their opinion.

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