Bob Geldof enlists Ed Sheeran and celebrity friends to warn Theresa May over Brexit

Bob Geldof enlists Ed Sheeran and celebrity friends to warn Theresa May over Brexit

ED SHEERAN has lent his support to an open letter penned by Bob Geldof urging British prime minister Theresa May to tread carefully with her Brexit negotiations.

Rita Ora, Sting and Paul Simon were among the other musicians to sign the letter, which warns May of the potential impact of a no-deal Brexit on the UK music industry.

In the letter, Geldof suggests the UK would end up in a "self-built cultural jail" if a no-deal Brexit occurred, adding that Brexit represents a threat to "Every aspect of the music industry".

He argued that leaving the EU jeopardises the "vast voice" the British music industry has.

The open letter, in full, read as follows:


"To Theresa May:

"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. The cyberwaves. The soundwaves. It is of us. It is our culture.

"We dominate the market and our bands, singers, musicians, writers, producers and engineers work all over Europe and the world. In turn, Europe and the world come to us. Why? Because we are brilliant at it. No one quite knows why this should be but everyone understands it to be so. The sound and the words seem universal. It reaches out, all inclusive, and embraces anyone and everyone. And that truly is what Britain IS! That is proper Global Britain.

"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.


(Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)


"Why are we closing down these possibilities for ourselves and for those as yet unknown to us? Brexit will impact every aspect of the music industry. From touring, sales, copyright legislation, to royalty collation. Indeed it already has. As a result of the referendum vote, the fall in the pound has meant hugely increased equipment costs, studio hire, and touring costs all now materially higher than before - and not forgetting that squeezed household incomes means less money to go to clubs and buy tracks, T-shirts, gigs and generate the vast income necessary to keep the up and comers on the road and musically viable.

"A massive 60 per cent of all royalty revenue paid to the UK comes from within the EU. And at home, any increase in import duty will mean that anything that comes to us from outside will cost significantly more. We have decided to put ourselves inside a self-built cultural jail! The very opposite of wall-destroying, prejudice-denying, ideas-generating that is the very essence of contemporary music. And yet it is the much-mocked freedom of movement that so effortlessly allows our troubadours, our cultural warriors, to wander Europe and speak of us to a world that cannot get enough of [them], and which generates countless billions for our threatened institutions.

"This is all a serious madness. We must take back our future. We must reform and restructure the EU. When Europe is in a mess, the Brits get stuck in. They don't withdraw, they double down. They get in close and messy. Make Europe the continent that we and the people of Europe want. Not the one dreamt up in another time by the ideologues, or by the undemocratic fiat of mediocre politicians or the dull exhortations of a pallid bureaucracy. A new one. A different one. An exciting one. A rock'n'roll one.

"Let's rock Europe and let's save our music, our musicians, our music jobs and our songs. Let's save our voice.

"Yours, Bob Geldof and friends."




The letter has been signed by a wealth of talent from the world of music.

Sheeran, Ora, Simon and Albarn aside, other signatories include Brian Eno, John Eliot Gardiner, Bobby Gillespie, Howard Goodall, Johnny Marr, Nick Mason, Alan McGee, Damon Albarn, William Orbit, Simon Rattle, Jarvis Cocker, Neil Tennant, and Roger Taylor.

They are all calling for a deal to be brokered to ensure the rules around everything from tours to royalties to copyright laws stay intact.