Of all the questions… What has surprised me in the last couple of days is the people that have asked me whether Brexit means that 2018 will be the last time that the United Kingdom can compete in the annual Eurovision Song Contest...

With so many other issues that Brexit will / may / could / might bring, let’s put this question to bed.

The contest is comprised of singers and groups from countries that are, mostly, members of the European Broadcasting Union (the EBU).  This is an alliance of public service media companies that are independent and run for the benefit of the country in which they operate.  It is totally independent of the European Union and EU exit will have no impact at all.

So, as long as the United Kingdom remains a member of the EBU it remains eligible to compete.  We have been competing in the event since 1957 (16 years before joining the European Economic Community as it was called then).  Indeed, as one of the ‘big 5’ (together with France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the host nation), the UK will always be in the final.

Although…

Ahead of the 2018 event, I suppose Brexit does beg two questions:

  1. Will the UK’s decision to leave the European Union impact the votes that it receives from our EU neighbours (either positively or negatively), and, perhaps more importantly
  2. Should there be a referendum on continued membership of the EBU?!

Enjoy Lisbon if you will be watching it…

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