Earlier today, popular vote dictated that the UK will be leaving the European Union, with a narrow margin (51% to 48% ) voting for them to leave. Even if you’ve never been outside of America before, this is a historic ruling that will have repercussions for years to come. Founded in 1993, the Union consisted of 28 countries – or at least it did until today. Many younger Brits voted for the UK to remain in the union, but older and more conservative ones, who might not have even known what they were voting for, chose that Britain shoud leave. The effects were immediate – the pound is now worth less than it’s been in over 20 years, it’s caused the stock market in America to close sharply down, and the Prime Minister of Britain stepped down already – and it’s deeply divided those in the UK, as the slim margin suggests.
We spoke to Metal Insider alumnus and co-founder of Marauder, Kodi McKinney about the changes. The music marketing company deals almost exclusively with international bands. Many UK musicians are upset about the vote, and McKinney suggests that they should be. ” Many developing acts in the UK live off the dole, which is a form of welfare that allows citizens who aren’t working full-time to still have just enough to scrape by on,” he says. “That’s not going to be as easy to do with a weak pound, which means fewer artists willing to take the leap into working on music full-time. It also means much less economic power for labels in the UK to invest in and develop artists, and depending on the terms the UK and the EU set for the exit, it could mean a lot more legwork and money for acts to get into EU member countries on performance visas, which they don’t need to tour Europe right now.”
One of the benefits of living in the UK is that you have access to all the other countries in Europe, and can pretty much travel between them almost as easily as traveling between states here. That will undoubtedly change, and will make it more difficult for bands to move throughout the continent as well. McKinney says we might be seeing less UK artists touring the states as well. “As the dollar gets stronger against the pound and euro both, it becomes a lot tougher for overseas artists to make plans for the US, the top music market in the world and the most expensive to develop an artist in,” he says. “Add in any potential discrimination issues that could pop up at customs in any of these countries as protectionist sentiment grows stronger, and it’s nothing short of a quagmire.”
Add to that the fact that no state has voted to leave the union before and those that voted “leave” don’t really have much of a plan now that they’ve won, and there’s a lot of uncertainty everywhere. It will take a while for this to shake out, but it seems like the international implications are wide-ranging, and there’s not much reason to celebrate in the majority of the world.