Ian Smith of the EMC: "We unite through the common language of music"

Ian Smith of the EMC: "We unite through the common language of music"

Jenna Simeonov
In the wake of disbelief following the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union, we are saddened and stunned for the British and Northern Irish people. Among the industries that will surely feel the effects of an independent UK are the arts. We’d like to share a statement by Ian Smith, Head of Music at Creative Scotland, and Chair & President of the European Music Council. Many thanks to Ann Summer Dossena of the International Resource Centre for Performing Arts for sharing Mr. Smith’s statement with us.

“Dear members and friends of the European Music Council,

I write as Chair/President of the European Music Council to express my deep regret and sorrow that at yesterday’s referendum, the UK voted to leave the European Union by a narrow margin of 52% voting to leave and 48% voting to remain. The EMC remains at the core of my being and my responsibilities as Chair are if anything strengthened by this regrettable vote. I am happy to report that Scotland voted by a clear majority of 62% to remain as part of the EU and that could, of course lead, not only to the break up of Europe, which we all fear, but the break up of the UK too.

The majority vote has come almost entirely from an English-based populace who fear continuing immigration and want to retain control of the UK which is, in my view a misplaced priority and fails to grasp that we are stronger together. From a cultural and artistic perspective this is certainly the case and is why the European Music Council is strong and that strength comes from our members and our shared priorities and vision for music as a universal language that knows no barriers wherever it is practiced across all genres, all abilities and for the benefit of all peoples.

We will remain strong and focussed on our European and global agenda and I hope it is clear that what has just happened in the UK must make us all vigilant and ensure that we unite through the common language of music that is and remains our passion.”

- Ian Smith, Chair of the EMC

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