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Hear from John Ingleton about why he is backing Robert Eggleston on December 12th

December 1, 2019 3:11 PM
By Anne Marie Cooke

John IngletonMr John Ingleton, past Chairman of the Music Society of Haywards Heath, told us that "the increased costs (associated with Brexit) might affect the long-term viability of the ASMF" (Academy of St Martin in the Fields Chamber Orchestra) and similar institutions in the Arts Sector.

John knows this first hand, as part of a family of professional musicians performing internationally, as well as serving on the board of the ASMF. Leaving the Single Market and the consequent loss of Freedom of Movement will increase administration costs from the likely need for numerous temporary work visas, health insurance and difficulties in frequently moving a number of large and valuable instruments across borders. The orchestra has already had to plan future concert tours with longer gaps between performances to allow for possible hold-ups at customs for the lorries carrying the instruments and equipment. Providing for this will clearly add substantially to costs that neither orchestra nor venue will be able to afford in the long term. Brexit will make British orchestras less competitive in Europe and reduce an essential income stream which keeps costs down for British audiences - the ASMF is one of the most popular orchestras in Germany and has amongst the highest levels of sales of recorded classical music in many European countries.

John has a grandson who, like many young people, has been able to take advantage of studying in Europe and is now studying music at a postgraduate level in Germany. He is currently able to subsidise his costs by working as a freelance musician just the same as his fellow EU students. This may end with a hard Brexit allowing only British students from the wealthiest backgrounds to take advantage of these fabulous opportunities that other European young people will continue to take for granted.

These issues are not unique to classical music or any performing arts but are symptomatic of the disadvantages Brexit will bring for the UK in so many areas where we have until now excelled. Membership of the EU has enabled us to capitalise on our skills for profit and also in the area of the so called "soft power" where our creative talents as well as language advantage have served us so well in the last 40 years.

John will be voting Liberal Democrat on the 12th December and supports Robert Eggleston in his tireless campaign to Stop Brexit.