EU referendum 6/6/2016

A number of groups representing the cultural sector have given their views on the forthcoming EU referendum, with comments overwhelmingly in favour of remaining in the union. 96% of members of the Creative Industries Federation said they back Remain. Leaders of City of London arts organisations, including the Barbican and Museum of London, issued a joint statement saying that the EU “plays a major role in ensuring the UK’s position as an international cultural powerhouse.” 300 historians including Simon Schama and Niall Ferguson have written to the Guardian saying, “on 23 June, we face a choice: to cast ourselves adrift, condemning ourselves to irrelevance and Europe to division and weakness; or to reaffirm our commitment to the EU and stiffen the cohesion of our continent in a dangerous world.” Chancellor George Osborne, who is a leading figure in the Remain campaign, welcomed their comments. The overwhelming majority of arts figures contacted by the Guardian favoured remaining in Europe, fearing difficulties with the visas, co-productions and art quality following Brexit. Others argue it will inhibit tourism. Munira Mirza, the former London Deputy Mayor for Culture, was one of the few prepared to go on the record in favour of leaving. Mirza said that others were afraid to ‘come out’ as pro-Brexit. She added, “they assume that everybody who wants to leave the EU must be anti-immigration [but it] is the EU which stops us doing [immigration] sensibly and intelligently. The choice is not between a closed world and an open world, we want a world even more open.Guardian (range of views on Brexit), Guardian (letter from actors), Museums Journal, Guardian (letter from historians), Creative Industries Federation, Telegraph, The Conversation