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UK and European indies call for greater certainty for the creative sector amid Brexit bedlam; plus UMG sale implications


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For our UK readers, Brexit is, well, we all know what it is. For our readers outside of the UK, how do we accurately explain what Brexit is? Imagine the most chaotic thing you’ve ever seen in your life. Multiply that by a billion. Double it. Triple it. That’s 1% of what Brexit is. So amid the mounting pantomime of uncertainty, indie trade bodies IMPALA (Europe) and AIM (UK) are calling on the EU and the UK government to ensure the needs of the creative sector are not left floundering in the chaos.

Following Impala’s board meeting in London at the end of last week, it is arguing that “sector-specific deals must be on the priority list for negotiators”. Helen Smith, executive chair of IMPALA, said, “With the ongoing uncertainty and fatigue that surrounds Brexit, it is vital we double our efforts to ensure that sector specific deals remain possible. The voice of the cultural and creative sectors must be heard.” Paul Pacifico, CEO of AIM, added, “Priorities include free movement of artists and cultural workers, implementing the copyright directive and ensuring the smooth functioning of reciprocal agreements for performance and broadcast revenue across Europe.”

The IMPALA board also made its views clear on any possible sale of (part of) Universal Music Group and why this would require the approval of the regulators in the UK and in Europe. “None of the possible purchasers of Universal mentioned so far would secure regulatory approval,” said Smith. “It is vital that the UK regulators are geared up on this, as well as the EU”.

Eamonn Forde

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