Asked during Prime Minister’s Questions in Parliament, what was the worst argument he’d heard so far against the country’s withdrawal throughout the EU debate, Cameron responded: “I think probably the one that we'd get out of the Eurovision Song Contest.”
He then continued to say that was not an outcome that he’d like to see – especially when even Australia continues to be a part of the contest, in spite of mot being part of the EU.
“I think that would not only be very sad but I think given that Israel and Azerbaijan and anyone anywhere near Europe seems to be able to – [even] Australia – I think we're pretty safe from that one.’”
The subject of EU membership is currently a hot-button topic of debate in the UK, with the country set to go to a referendum in two months - on 23 June to decide whether or not they will remain a part of the Union.
The President of the UK Eurovision fan club, Alasdair Rendall, also assured fans earlier this year that it’s not membership to the EU that counts, but rather membership of the EBU – the European Broadcasting Union.
“No, we would not be barred - all participating countries must be a member of the European Broadcasting Union,” said Rendall.
The UK and its national broadcaster, the BBC is not only a member of the EBU, but is one of the top five biggest financial contributors, along with France, Italy, Spain and Germany. Consequently, these ‘Big Five’ nations have a guaranteed place in the final, along with each year’s host nation (this year is Sweden), bypassing the semi-finals to form part of the 26 nations that make up the Grand Final.
Australia (and SBS) is of course, an Associate of the EBU and because of our long-standing promotion of the contest we were invited in 2015 to submit an entry. In 2016 we asked to be a part of the Eurovision Song Contest again. The EBU Reference Group, the governing body of the Eurovision Song Contest, voted unanimously in favour of Australia's participation.
While it is yet to be decided whether Australia will become a permanent participant in the contest, SBS has secured an option to develop the Eurovision Song Contest concept in the Asia-Pacific, so it seems that, whatever happens with the UK, Australia’s Eurovision future remains bright!
Watch the UK's 2016 Eurovision entry, 'You're not Alone' by Joe and Jake, below.