Official statement: Brexit vote
"Yesterday's decision by the United Kingdom's electorate to leave the European Union will take time to digest – but it will take much longer to understand and deal with the consequences. I believe I speak for the vast majority of my colleagues here at Askonas Holt, and for the vast majority of the artists and institutions with whom we work, in saying that we are saddened and frightened at the prospect of what lies ahead, and by the lack of clarity that faces us. In my view, 'Remain' did not adequately celebrate all that the EU has achieved over the decades: not just in terms of peace and social inclusion, but also in recognising the importance of culture and of investment in the arts. I am particularly struck by the fact that 75% of voters between the ages of 18 to 24 voted to remain in the EU – these people are our future.
"But this is democracy in action, and we have to respect the UK's decision. We now need to understand the mechanisms of leaving; how and when this will take effect. There are questions which need to be answered as we plan for the years to come in terms of visas, work permits, tax treaties and all the practicalities of our business. We are already planning concerts and tours that, theoretically, will take place well after the UK will cease its membership of the European Union. We also need to understand how we can ensure continuity of employment for all our fantastic staff – which includes citizens of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and other EU nations – and that we can continue to search for top administrative talent beyond the borders of the UK. We will work with our colleagues across the industry to get clarity on these issues as soon as possible, so that we can plan for the future with confidence.
"As this nation faces years of negotiation and wrangling with the EU, maybe we will once again discover that the arts offer precious opportunities to build bridges and cross borders, reminding our European neighbours that the UK remains open-minded and open for business."
Chief Executive, Askonas Holt