'We choose Europe': Pullman and Gaiman condemn Brexit in open letter

'We choose Europe': Pullman and Gaiman condemn Brexit in open letter

Almost 90 UK authors including Robert Harris, Neil Gaiman, John le Carré and Philip Pullman, have condemned Brexit in an open letter urging people to vote in tomorrow's European Parliament elections. 

The open letter published in the Guardian on Tuesday (21st May) criticises plans for Brexit and how it will affect the publishing industry.

The letter signed by the likes of Nikesh Shukla, Molly Flatt and Laurie Penny as well as Harris, le Carré, Gaiman and Pullman, reads: “We are the people who spend our lives making things that are not true seem believable, and we don’t think Brexit is even a good effort. In the elections for the European parliament, and the referendum which seems almost inevitable, we want to urge everyone to vote to stay in the EU—unless they know what they are choosing to lose, for themselves and everyone they know, and are happy with that. We choose a better environment, better healthcare, better food, more working protections, bigger markets, more jobs. We choose friendship and peace and better days. We choose Europe.”

John le Carre © Christian Barnett, Robert Harris

The 98 writers allege that the situation for the television industry is “even starker” but that the changes will affect all industries in the UK. “It seems to us that the same question is facing every industry and every person in the UK: what will you choose to lose? Because we used to hear about the advantages of Brexit. We used to hear about the bright future, the extra money, the opportunities. Now the advocates of Brexit just assure us that it won’t be as bad as the last world war.”

The letter states that the production relies on the structure of the EU. “The UK publishes more books per head than any other nation on Earth, and millions of UK citizens believe they will one day join us and write the book they have inside them—and lots of them will.

“That is possible in part because books printed here, in English, can be sold into Europe as easily as at home. Exports account for 60% of UK publishing revenues, and 36% of physical book exports go to Europe, and that is only the most straightforward concern about what will happen.

Nikesh Shukla, Molly Flatt

“It’s fashionable among politicians to sneer at the creative industries, but our work is work just like anyone else’s, and like anyone else’s it can only happen if we get paid. Without any idea of what Brexit might look like, it’s impossible to know exactly what we might lose. A tenth? A fifth? A third of what we live on? We’ll have to make compromises. Should we ditch part of the beginning, the middle, or the end of the story? Would audiences prefer not to know whose fault it all is, how the crime was solved, or who’s still standing at the end?”

Brexit is delayed until 31st October as Prime Minister Theresa May said MPs have "one last chance" to deliver Brexit in a "new deal". Voters will go to the polls tomorrow (Thursday 23rd May) to elect members of the European Parliament (MEPs).