Brussels, 31st January 2020

Today marks the official start of Brexit. The UK and the EU will now negotiate the exact terms upon which they part company.

This means constructing a new deal to avoid disadvantaging the UK/EU trading relationship. IMPALA’s Executive Chair Helen Smith did an interview earlier this week on what the situation is until a new agreement is negotiated, and what the priorities should be for the negotiators in the next phase.

Helen Smith commented: “A sector specific approach is essential to ensure ongoing terms accommodate the needs and opportunities of the cultural sectors in a post Brexit world.”

IMPALA has underlined that the next step is crucial and has supported recommendations across the European cultural sectors.

Smith continued: “This is particularly key for small businesses and emerging artists, who won’t have the means to work their way around complex barriers. If we want an illustration of why that’s important, we just need to look at IMPALA’s album of the year shortlist published yesterday. That is the diversity we want to continue to see crossing borders. Brexit will not prevent that, the independents’ voice will keep being heard.”

The UK’s recent stance on the EU’s copyright directive has caused concern in the music sector and IMPALA commented on this earlier this week. Even if it doesn’t adopt the directive as such, the UK can still align its legislation, deliver on its promises and remain a leader in Europe.

Smith concluded: “We urge both the UK and the EU to prioritise concrete terms that recognise that the European music market is borderless in nature and needs nurturing with sector-specific deal terms.”


IMPALA was established in April 2000 to represent independent music companies. 99% of Europe’s music companies are SMEs. Known as the “independents”, they are world leaders in terms of innovation and discovering new music and artists – they produce more than 80% of all new releases and account for 80% of the sector’s jobs (for more information, see the features of independents). IMPALA’s mission is to grow the independent music sector, return more value to artists, promote cultural diversity and entrepreneurship, improve political access and modernise perceptions of the music sector.

IMPALA – Independent Music Companies Association

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