BPI welcomes the new Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Yesterday (Wednesday) Nicky Morgan, Chair of House of Commons Treasury Committee, was appointed Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, by the new prime minister Boris Johnson.

The BPI’s Geoff Taylor has responded to Morgan’s new appointment by welcoming the MP’s understanding of British music and the importance of guaranteeing there is access to music in state schools.

Geoff Taylor, chief executive, BPI says: ‘Many congratulations to the Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP on her appointment as the new Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. As chair of the Treasury Select Committee she has demonstrated her commitment to British music, taking time to meet with us and discuss our policy interests.

‘From her time in Education she will understand the background to our concerns over access to music in state schools, and we will continue to press her to lobby her colleagues in DfE on this issue. We look forward to working with her.’

As Johnson takes up his post as PM and begins forming a cabinet the UK industry has responded to the threat of a no deal Brexit under the new Conservative leadership.

The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) released a statement following the publication of the report ‘The consequences of “No Deal” for UK business’ by the House of Commons Exiting the European Union Committee highlighting its concerns around free movement for musicians.

Deborah Annetts, chief executive, ISM said: ‘Musicians’ livelihoods depend on the ability to travel easily and cheaply with their instruments around multiple countries in the EU for work in a short period of time. For a large proportion of musicians, a significant part of their earnings comes from working within the EU.

‘In order that musicians can continue to generate income and contribute to the £4.5bn the music industry already contributes to the UK economy, it is essential that musicians and their instruments/equipment are able to continue travelling to and working in the EU. If freedom of movement ceases, the ISM has identified the introduction of a two-year, cheap and admin-light, multi-entry touring visa in any withdrawal agreement as the most effective way forward.’

Similarly, UK Music’s chief executive Michael Dugher urged new prime minister not to throw the music industry ‘over a cliff’ with a no-deal Brexit.

He said: ‘My explicit message to our new government on Brexit is this – you may be prepared to see a no-deal Brexit at the end of October. You may be happy to leap off the edge of a cliff, but please, please don’t throw the British music industry over there with you.’

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