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September, 8

UK music industry sounds Brexit warning

UK music industry sounds Brexit warning

The success of UK music artists could be threatened by a bad Brexit deal, the industry body has warned.

The British Phonographic Industry, which represents the sector, said a "strong" agreement is needed to make sure music imports and exports are not negatively impacted by Britain's EU exit.

It voiced its fears as it announced record exports for 2017 - a 12% increase on the previous year to £408m.

This is the highest figure since records began 18 years ago.

The record labels' association credited Ed Sheeran's album Divide topping the world best-selling list and Rory Graham - better known as Rag'n'Bone Man - taking the fourth spot with his debut Human.

It also pointed to top ten album sales for Sam Smith and Harry Styles.

The body said the overall popularity of British music abroad meant one in eight streamed, physical and downloaded albums purchased around the world in 2017 was by a UK artist.

But Geoff Taylor, the BPI's chief executive, said a good Brexit deal was needed to enable UK music to thrive after March 2019.

"Our music not only enriches the lives of fans around the world, it makes a major contribution to the UK economy through overseas sales and by attracting numerous visitors to the UK.

"With Brexit approaching, music can help to showcase what is exciting about the UK as we forge new trading relationships, but only if our government supports us by ensuring a strong Brexit deal that enables artists to tour freely, robustly protects music rights, and prevents physical music products being impeded in transit," he said.

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