Beggars and Universal join forces… urging UK music biz to vote against Brexit

776 shares

It’s not every day that Martin Mills stands arm-in-arm with a major record company – so when it happens, you must know it’s because of a subject he considers vitally important.

Universal Music UK CEO & Chairman David Joseph and Beggars Group boss Mills have today issued a joint letter urging Britons to vote ‘Remain’ in the EU membership referendum taking place this Thursday (June 23).

In the letter, obtained by MBW, the duo warn their artists, employees and fellow UK execs: “This may be your last Tuesday in Europe.”

They comment that “a victory for Brexit would be economically, politically, socially and culturally disastrous – for all of us”.

David Joseph announced his support for the ‘Remain’ campaign last month – undersigning a ‘Britain Better in Europe’ letter alongside the likes of Rough Trade’s Geoff Travis, manager Jonathan Shalit and the FAC’s Sandie Shaw.

“Music is about embracing and respecting other cultures… which feels at odds with brexit, a campaign born of the instinct to pull up the drawbridge.”

David Joseph and Martin Mills

Martin Mills, meanwhile, is understood to have recently sent a note to his entire workforce at Beggars reminding them that the start of Glastonbury Festival clashes with the EU Referendum vote on Thursday – asking them to do whatever they could to ensure they put an ‘X’ on their ballot paper before travelling to the event.

The EU referendum appears too close to call from the latest polls in the UK, with differing research suggesting that both ‘Brexit’ and ‘Remain’ could win by a slim margin.

On Friday this week, David Joseph and Martin Mills will go back to being uncompromising market competitors.

Before then, they are united.

Read Mills and Joseph’s letter in full below…


Good morning. This may be your last Tuesday morning in Europe.

Forgive the simplistic statement – the important message is that the opinion polls now indicate that Thursday’s vote could take us on a one-way road OUT of Europe.

First and foremost we are writing to urge you to vote on Thursday, but also to consider all of the issues carefully. We believe a victory for Brexit would be economically, politically, socially and culturally disastrous – for all of us.

Many of you will be travelling to Glastonbury on Thursday, the day of the vote. To us, Glastonbury embodies the inclusiveness that a Brexit vote seeks to reject.

“When your family is imperfect, you don’t abandon it – you stay with it, and seek to make it better.”

No-one thinks the EU is perfect. It’s undeniably flawed. But when your family is imperfect, you don’t abandon it – you stay with it, and seek to make it better. That’s what we need to do here.

We’re not going to rehearse the arguments. They’re in all the media. This is what The Economist says.

Those economic arguments make even more sense for the creative industries. But this isn’t just about business. Music is all about collaboration, embracing and respecting other cultures. A collective mindset which we want to preserve, and one which feels at odds with Brexit, a campaign born of populism and the instinct to pull up the drawbridge.

We wanted to share how we felt ahead of Thursday’s vote, and what we strongly believe is in the best interests of our companies and artists.

We know not everyone shares our views. All we ask is that you have your say in a referendum which is of fundamental importance to all our futures, and undoubtedly too close to call.

David and Martin sigsMusic Business Worldwide

Related Posts

  • recordlick

    seek to make it better? Sadly the EU will not change. It’s anti-democratic. Run for the rich by the rich. Only those people in the real world with their eyes open know what is really happening here. The EEC was good, the EU is bad.

  • What does exiting the European Union have to do with culture?

  • Phil CL

    Vote out to save our country. Do no let what our soldiers fought for in the war be given away.