52% of the British public voted to leave the European Union, and Prime Minister David Cameron announced his intentions to step down from October.
The music business has been firmly in the remain camp, with Universal Music U.K. boss David Joseph and Beggars Group chief Martin Mills issuing a joint statement on Tuesday reminding employees, artists and fellow execs of the economic, political, social and cultural benefits of the UK staying within the EU.
On Thursday, a cross section of top execs from Secretly Group, Absolute Label Services, Play It Again Sam, WIN, INgrooves, MPA/IMPEL, Cooking Vinyl Group, Official Charts Company, Imagem, Cherry Red and Bella Union told MBW they’d all be voting against Brexit.
However, on Friday the majority of the British population voted against the UK remaining a member of the EU.
The reaction on social media was one of shock, with British artists including Lily Allen, Zayn, Ellie Goulding, Disclosure, Liam Gallagher and Johnny Marr weighing in on the debate.
“Well millennials, we’re really really fucked,” said Allen, while Zayn tweeted: “It’s very sad to see society so fragmented, [especially] in terms of regions, generations and class. We need to pull together now to make it work.”
Goulding was “heartbroken to hear the news,” continuing: “I truly believe this is one of the most devastating things to happen during my lifetime. I felt a fear I’ve never felt this morning.”
Despite the disappointing outcome, a number of music trade associations have issued statements reiterating their commitment to negotiating with the British Government to ensure “unimpeded access” to the EU markets for UK artists and companies, and highlighting the importance of working together to ensure the strength of the British music business internationally is not diminished.
Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI & BRIT Awards, said that while Brexit could result in short-term pain, it could eventually mean “stronger domestic copyright rules” that encourage investment, clamp down harder on piracy and straighten out “copyright loopholes” used by the likes of YouTube.
“Once the short-term political and macro-economic consequences have played out, this decision will mean new priorities for the music industry in our work with Government,” said Taylor.