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Brexit could cost UK music scene its voice, warn leading stars

The signatories to a letter of warning include Britpop frontmen and London Symphony Orchestra’s musical director.

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Ed Sheeran has signed the letter warning about the consequences of Brexit (Ben Birchall/PA)

Ed Sheeran has signed the letter warning about the consequences of Brexit (Ben Birchall/PA)

Ed Sheeran has signed the letter warning about the consequences of Brexit (Ben Birchall/PA)

Leading British musicians including Ed Sheeran, Rita Ora and Sting have joined forces to warn about the impact of a no-deal Brexit on the music industry, saying the country would be placed in a “self-built cultural jail”.

The letter, orchestrated by Bob Geldof and addressed to Theresa May, says Britain’s departure from the EU threatens the “vast voice” of the £4.4 billion industry which “dominates” the market.

Jarvis Cocker and Damon Albarn, the frontmen of Britpop bands Pulp and Blur, are also among the signatories alongside former The Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason and musical director of the London Symphony Orchestra Sir Simon Rattle.

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Blur frontman Damon Albarn has also signed the letter (David Jensen/PA)

Blur frontman Damon Albarn has also signed the letter (David Jensen/PA)

Blur frontman Damon Albarn has also signed the letter (David Jensen/PA)

The letter said: “Imagine Britain without its music. If it’s hard for us, then it’s impossible for the rest of the world.

“In this one area, if nowhere else, Britain does still rule the waves. The airwaves.

“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.”

The Observer reported the letter was circulated by Geldof with the subject “towards a 2nd vote”, in which Mrs May is urged to note that Brexit will “impact every aspect of the music industry”.

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