Hundreds of figures from Britain's creative industries call for UK to stay in the EU

- Creative Industries Federation survey also reveals 96% of its members support Remain -


Today, 282 of the world’s biggest creative industries names – including Benedict Cumberbatch, Carol Ann Duffy, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dame Kristin Scott Thomas, Dame Vivienne Westwood, John le Carré, Keira Knightley, Sir Anish Kapoor, Sir Patrick Stewart, Steve McQueen and members of the band Franz Ferdinand – have signed a letter to support keeping Britain in the EU.

Signatories also include senior figures from leading creative businesses such as David Joseph CBE, the Chairman and Chief Executive of Universal Music UK, Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan, the Co-Chairmen of Working Title Films; and Gail Rebuck, the Chair of Penguin Random House UK.

In the letter the signatories from across film, music, theatre, literature, dance, design, the arts, and fashion said:

“From the smallest gallery to the biggest blockbuster, many of us have worked on projects that would never have happened without vital EU funding or by collaborating across borders. Britain is not just stronger in Europe, it is more imaginative and more creative, and our global creative success would be severely weakened by walking away.

“From the Bard to Bowie, British creativity inspires and influences the rest of the world. We believe that being part of the EU bolsters Britain’s leading role on the world stage.

“Let's not become an outsider shouting from the wings.”


The letter (in full below) comes on the day that a survey from the Creative Industries Federation reveals that more than 96% of its members support remaining in the EU. The study also showed that 84% of its members believed the outcome of the vote on June 23rd was important to the future success of their organisation.

Among the reasons cited for the vote of confidence in Europe were access to EU markets and influence, access to EU funding and movement of talent.

Signatories include:

Actors: Bill Nighy; Brian Blessed; Chiwetel Ejiofor; Dame Kristin Scott Thomas; Helena Bonham Carter; Jamie Bell; Sir Derek Jacobi CBE; Sir Patrick Stewart; Sophie Okonedo; Steve Coogan;

Music: Alt J (Gus Unger-Hamilton, Joe Newman, Thom Green); Amir Amor and Piers Aggett (Rudimental); David Joseph CBE, Chairman and Chief Executive of Universal Music; Franz Ferdinand (Alex Kapranos, Bob Hardy, Nick McCarthy, Paul Thomson); Hot Chip; Jessie Ware; Paloma Faith

Fashion: Alexandra Shulman OBE, Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue; Dame Vivienne Westwood DBE; Daniel Rubin, Executive Chairman of The Dune Group; Imran Amed, Founder and CEO The Business of Fashion;

Film: Eric Fellner; Richard Curtis; Steve McQueen; Tim Bevan; Tom Hooper

Theatre: David Lan, Artistic Director of the Young Vic; Nicholas Hytner, Director; Paul Roseby, Director of the National Youth Theatre; Sir Tom Stoppard OM CBE, Playwright and screenwriter; Sir Matthew Bourne, Artistic Director of New Adventures;

Arts: Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate; Charles Saumarez Smith, Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts; Chris Dercon, Director of Tate Modern; Sir Anish Kapoor, Sculptor

Authors: Dame Hilary Mary Mantel DBE FRSL; John le Carré; Kathy Lette; Philip Pullman

Sir John Sorrell, Chairman of the Creative Industries Federation, said:
“The UK creative industries are key to the way we are seen by the world and deliver a massive £84.1bn to our economy. Our position as a vital European creative hub is a huge part of this success - we benefit from a vast network of talented people, companies and institutions across Europe.”


Text of the letter

The EU referendum marks the biggest democratic decision of our time, and the outcome will have lasting and far-reaching consequences for the future of this country for generations to come.

The referendum forces us to look in the mirror and ask ourselves: what kind of nation do we want to be? Are we outward-looking and open to working with others to achieve more? Or do we close ourselves off from our friends and neighbours at a time of increasing global uncertainty?

From the smallest gallery to the biggest blockbuster, many of us have worked on projects that would never have happened without vital EU funding or by collaborating across borders. Britain is not just stronger in Europe, it is more imaginative and more creative, and our global creative success would be severely weakened by walking away.

And what would ‘Out’ really mean? Leaving Europe would be a leap into the unknown for millions of people across the UK who work in the creative industries, and for the millions more at home and abroad who benefit from the growth and vibrancy of Britain’s cultural sector.

From the Bard to Bowie, British creativity inspires and influences the rest of the world. We believe that being part of the EU bolsters Britain’s leading role on the world stage.

Let's not become an outsider shouting from the wings.

Creative Industries Federation survey

Among reasons cited for the vote of confidence in Europe by Creative Industries Federation members were:

Access to EU markets and influence - the EU is the largest export market for the UK creative industries, totalling 56% of all overseas trade in the sector. It is vital that Britain is able to influence regulatory discussions which may have a bearing on future trading, such as the current discussions around the creation of the Digital Single Market.

Access to EU funding – the Creative Europe programme has provided seed funding for films such as The King’s Speech, The Iron Lady and Slumdog Millionaire. ERDF funding has provided vital support to arts organisations in the regions, including the Liverpool Everyman and Sage Gateshead. In addition, Federation cultural education members benefit from the €80bn innovation fund, Horizon 2020. All this could be imperilled.

Movement of talent – the UK is a creative hub. Close collaboration with EU partners is key to Britain maintaining this position. From orchestras to art schools to architecture firms, the UK’s creative industries are enriched by the diversity of cultural exchange and strengthened by the movement of talent across the EU.

The creative industries have been the fastest growing sector of the UK economy since 2008 and added £84.1bn GVA to the economy last year.

The creative industries employ 1.8m people in this country (1 in 17 jobs in the UK; and 1 in 8 jobs in London). [DCMS stats from January 2016 – 2014 figures].

The creative economy (includes the contribution of those who are in creative occupations outside the creative industries) employ 2.8m people in this country (1 in 11 jobs in UK; and 1 in 6 jobs in London).

Full list of signatories

Aaron Taylor-Johnson Actor
Abi Morgan Writer
Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin Artists
Adrian Scarborough Actor
Akram Khan Dancer, choreographer
Alexandra Shulman, OBE Editor-in-chief, British Vogue
Alfonso Cuarón Director, screenwriter, producer
Alistair Spalding, CBE Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Sadler’s Wells
Allie Esiri Poetry anthologist, director of iLiterature
Allon Zloof Creative Director, Tom Smarte London
Alt J (Gus Unger-Hamilton, Joe Newman, Thom Green) Musicians
Amahra Spence* Director of MAIA Creatives
Amanda Levete Architect
Amanda Nevill* CEO, The British Film Institute
Andrew Hurst Chief Executive One Dance UK
Andrew Kötting Artist
Andy Harries Producer / Chief Executive, Left Bank Pictures
Anna Maxwell Martin Actor
Anna Schmitz Executive Producer of Told By An Idiot
Annoushka Ducas, MBE Jewellery designer and entrepreneur
Anoushka Shankar Musician
Anthony Burrill Designer
Antonia Campbell-Hughes Actor
Arlene Phillips, CBE Choreographer
Asif Kapadia Filmmaker
Baroness Oona King* Channel 4 Diversity Executive
Bella Freud Designer
Ben Evans Director of the London Design Festival
Ben Harris Publicist / Founder Run Music
Ben Rivers Artist
Benedict Cumberbatch, CBE Actor
Benjamin Caron Director
Bill Nighy Actor
Bob and Roberta Smith Artist
Brian Blessed Actor
Bridget Floyer Independent Producer
Bryony Gordon Writer
Caro Newling President of the Society of London Theatre
Carol Ann Duffy Poet Laureate
Carol Main, MBE Director, Live Music Now Scotland/International Development (UK)
Caroline Skinner Executive producer
Carrie Cracknell Theatre director
Charles Finch CEO, Finch and Partners
Charles Saumarez Smith Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts
Charlotte Mendelson Novelist
Chiwetel Ejiofor, CBE Actor
Chris Dercon Director of Tate Modern
Chris Jackson Author
Christine Molloy Director
Christopher Wright Actor
Cornelia Parker Artist
Dame Harriet Walter Actor
Dame Hilary Mary Mantel, DBE FRSL Writer
Dame Kristin Scott Thomas Actress
Dame Marina Warner Writer
Dame Pippa Harris DBE Film and TV producer
Dame Vivienne Westwood, DBE Fashion designer and activist
Daniel Fletcher Menswear designer
Daniel Rubin Executive Chairman, The Dune Group
Danny Boyle Director
Dave Haslam DJ and Author
Dave Price Composer
David Adjaye Architect
David Arnold Film composer
David Batchelor Artist
David Heyman Producer
David Joseph, CBE Chairman and Chief Executive of Universal Music UK
David Jubb* Artistic Director & CEO of Battersea Arts Centre
David Lan Artistic director of the Young Vic
David Morrissey Actor
David Oyelowo, OBE Actor
David Puttnam Film producer
David Sproxton, CBE Executive Chairman, Aardman Animations studio
David Yates Film director
Deborah Bull* Assistant Principal (London) King’s College London
Deborah Dawton Chief Executive of the Design Business Association
Declan Donnellan Artistic Director, Cheek by Jowl
Dominic Cooke, CBE Director
Dominic West Actor
Douglas Gordon Artist
Dr. Sandie Shaw Chair, Featured Artist Coalition
Ed Simons Musician
Eddie Izzard Comedian
Edie Campbell Model
Editors Musicians
Edward Hall Artistic Director Hampstead Theatre
Elizabeth Karlsen Producer and co-founder of Number 9 Films
Elizabeth Price Artist
Emily Eavis Co-organiser of the Glastonbury Festival
Eric Fellner Co-Chairman, Working Title Films
Fabrizio Zappaterra Chairman, Temperley London, and Director, Hunter Boot Limited
Felix Barrett Founder and artistic director of Punchdrunk
Fergus Linehan* Director of the Edinburgh International Festival
Francesca Hayward Ballet Dancer
Franz Ferdinand (Alex Kapranos, Bob Hardy, Nick McCarthy, Paul Thomson) Musicians
Gail Rebuck British Publisher, Chair of Penguin Random House UK
Gary Hume Artist
Gavin Turk Artist
Geoff Dyer Author
Geoff Travis Rough Trade Founder and co-Managing Director Rough Trade Records
George Longly Artist
George Want Directr
Glenn Brown Artist
Greg Hilty Director, Lisson Gallery
Hannah Pescod Producer and co-founder, Bandstand Productions
Hans Ulrich Obrist* Curator, Artistic Director at the Serpentine Galleries, London
Heidi Thomas Writer
Helena Bonham Carter Actor
Heydon Prowse Satirist
Hot Chip Musicians
Howard Davies Director
Hussein Chalayan Designer
Iain Archer Producer / songwriter/ artist and visiting Professor, Leeds College of Music
Ian Livingstone, CBE Video Games Entrepreneur and Author
Ian McEwan Novelist and screenwriter
Ilan Eshkeri Composer
Ilse Crawford Founder and Principal of Studioilse
Imran Amed Founder and CEO The Business of Fashion
Jack Thorne Writer
James Capper Sculptor
James Daunt Founder, Daunt Books
Jamie Bell Actor
Jamie Byng CEO of Canongate Books and founder of Letters Live and World Book Night
Jamie Lloyd Director and producer, founder of The Jamie Lloyd Company
Jamie MacColl Musician, Bombay Bicycle Club
Jarvis Cocker Musician & broadcaster
Jason Watkins Actor
Jatinder Verma Artistic Director, Tara Arts
Jay Jopling Founder of White Cube
Jeff McMillan Artist
Jefferson Hack CEO & Co-Founder, Dazed Media
Jenny Agutter, OBE Actor
Jeremy Deller Artist
Jess Search Chief Executive BRITDOC
Jessie Ware Artist
Jo Brand Comedian
Joanna Hogg Director
Joe Murphy Artistic director, Good Chance Theatre
Joe Robertson Artistic director, Good Chance Theatre
Joe Wright Director
John Kampfner CEO, Creative Industries Federation
John le Carré Author
John Madden Director
John Pawson Designer
Jolyon Rubinstein Satirist
Jonathan Reekie, CBE* Director of Somerset House Trust
Joseph Mount (Metronomy) Musician
Joseph Richardson Actor, Musician and Puppeteer
Josh Berger, CBE* President and Managing Director, Warner Bros UK and Ireland, and Chairman of the British Film Institute
Jude Kelly, CBE* Artistic Director, Southbank Centre
Jude Law Actor
Juliet Stevenson Actor
June Sarpong, MBE Broadcaster, campaigner
Kanya King, MBE Founder and CEO of the MOBO Organisation
Kate Mosse Novelist and playwright
Kate Unsworth Founder and CEO VINAYA
Katharine Hamnett Fashion designer
Kathy Lette Author
Katie Mitchell Director
Katie Moore Actor
Keira Knightley Actor
Keith Milow Artist
Kelly Hoppen, MBE Interior designer, author and entrepreneur
Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp, OBE Chief Executive, The Place
Kerry Hudson Author
Kevin Macdonald Director
Kevin O’Hare* Director, The Royal Ballet
Kit Neale Fashion designer
Koo Jeong A Artist
Laura Bailey Model, writer, Contributing Editor; British Vogue
Laura Wade Playwright
Laura Wright Singer
Lee Hall Dramatist
Lisa-Marie Hoctor Performer and Co-Artistic Director of Mighty Heart Theatre Company
Louisa Hutton Artist
Marcus Davey, OBE Chief Executive and Artistic Director, The Roundhouse
Martha Freud Artist
Martin Parr Photographer/curator
Mary Swan Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Proteus
Mat Whitecross Director
Matthew Baker Head of acquisitions, HanWay Films
Matthew Hale Artist
Matthew Herbert Musician
Meike Ziervogel Publisher at Peirene Press
Michael Craig-Martin Artist
Michael Frayn Writer
Michael Mack Publisher
Michael Morpurgo Author
Michael Morris and James Lingwood Co-Directors, Artangel
Michael Winterbottom Director
Mike Leigh, OBE Writer and director
Natalia Kaliada and Nicolai Khalezin Co-founders of Belarus Free Theatre
Nicholas Hytner Director
Nick Dear Playwright
Nick Ormerod Artistic Director, Cheek by Jowl
Nicolai Schumann Founding Director, Alice's Pig
Nicolas Brown Producer
Nicolas Kent Director/producer; ex- Artistic Director of the Tricycle Theatre
Nicole Farhi Sculptor
Nigel Carrington* Vice-Chancellor, University of the Arts London
Nik Powell Producer
Nina Gold Casting Director
Nitin Sawhney Musician
Noel Clarke Actor, director, writer
Noel Qualter Producer/writer, Cineman Films
Ol Parker Screenwriter and Director
Orlando von Einsiedel Director
Paloma Faith Artist
Patricia Rodriguez and Merce Ribot Little Soldier Productions
Patrick Grant Designer
Paul Hosking Artist
Paul Roseby National Youth Theatre, director
Paul Williams, OBE Director, Stanton Williams
Pawel Pawlikowski Director
Pete Czernin Producer, Blueprint Pictures
Peter Florence, MBE Director, Hay Festival
Peter Morgan Writer
Peter Rice Sound Design
Peter Strickland Director
Philip Pullman Writer
Polly Stenham Writer
Professor Eyal Weizman Architect and Professor of Spatial and Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Director of the Centre for Research Architecture
Professor Jonathan Shalit, OBE Chairman, ROAR Group
Professor Tom Inns* Director of the Glasgow School of Art
Rhodri Meilir Actor
Richard Curtis Writer and Director
Richard Gregory Artistic Director of Quarantine
Richard Rogers Architect
Richard Wentworth Artist
Robert Montgomery Artist and Poet
Ron Arad Designer
Amir Amor and Piers Aggett (Rudimental) Musicians
Russ Shaw Founder, Tech London Advocates
Sabrina Guinness Producer
Sally Wainwright Writer, Director and Executive Producer
Sam Taylor-Johnson, OBE Film Maker, Artist
Sam Thorne Director, Nottingham Contemporary
Samuel Hodges Director/CEO of Nuffield Theatre, Southampton
Samuel West Actor
Sandi Toksvig, OBE Founder of the Women’s Equality Party, author, comedian and presenter
Sara and Leonie Lowri The Eggs Collective
Sarah Solemani Actress and writer
Saul Dibb Director
Shaun McDowell Artist
Shirazeh Houshiary Artist
Simon Patterson Artist
Simon Stephens Writer
Sir Anish Kapoor Sculptor
Sir David Chipperfield, CBE RA RDI RIBA Architect
Sir Derek Jacobi, CBE Actor
Sir John Hurt, CBE Actor
Sir John Sorrell, CBE Chairman of Creative Industries Federation
Sir Matthew Bourne Artistic Director, New Adventures
Sir Patrick Stewart Actor and activist
Sir Tom Stoppard, OM CBE Playwright and screenwriter
Sonia Friedman Producer
Sophie Fiennes Director, producer
Sophie Okonedo Actor
Stephen Daldry, CBE Director and Producer
Stephen Frears Director
Stephen Woolley Producer, director
Steve Coogan Actor, Producer, Writer
Steve McQueen Artist
Susannah Tresilian Theatre director and founder of Ariadne
Tacita Dean Artist
Tara Robinson Artistic Director of The Conker Groups
Thandie Newton Actress
Thea Sharrock Director
Thomas Heatherwick Designer
Tim Bevan Co-chairman, Working Title Films
Tim Pigott-Smith Actor, director, writer
Tom Geens Director
Tom Harper Director
Tom Hooper Director
Tommy Franzén Dancer
Tony Bevan Artist
Tracey Emin Artist
Tracey Seaward Producer
Vicky Featherstone Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre, London
Vicky Ireland, MBE Vice Chair of Action for Children’s Arts
Wayne McGregor, CBE Choreographer and founder of Studio Wayne McGregor
WIlliam Nicholson, OBE Writer
Wolfgang Tillmans RA Artist
Yana Peel* CEO of the Serpentine Galleries

*These people have agreed to sign the letter in a personal capacity