BREXIT has brought no benefits and instead may cause “terminal damage” to the UK’s music industry, the principal of a leading school has said.

Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, the principal of the Royal Academy of Music, said the proportion of European students at the London academy had fallen by half since 2016 and warned that Brexit has “stopped the flow of talent coming in”.

In an interview with the European Movement UK campaign group, Freeman-Attwood said: “It has been a complete no-win situation, not just for higher education but actually for music higher education, and particularly an institution like this that was founded over 200 years ago by Europeans.

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“The whole idea of boundaries and not being able to travel and not being able to collaborate with people from different countries is totally alien to the concept of being a professional musician.”

Asked if there were benefits to Brexit, he said: “The benefits. There are no benefits. There is nothing there. There are no winners.”

He went on: “I think there will be terminal damage in an area where we have a world renowned reputation as educators and as people who make a difference worldwide in the creative industries.

“So at the moment, I think we're fighting against the tide and in some areas we're doing OK, but it's a colossal waste in terms of reputation, in terms of capability, in terms of possibility of things that Britain has always done incredibly well.

“So it's such a multidimensional, multifaceted, potential damage – of which a lot of damage is being done daily.”

The Royal Academy of Music counts stars such as Annie Lennox and Elton John among its past students. It was founded in 1822 by French harpist Nicolas-Charles Bochsa and British aristocrat John Fane.

The warning from the school's principal comes after concerns that the Tory government is looking to crack down on artistic freedoms.

Fears of “McCarthyism 2.0” were raised after the UK Government blocked funding for an Irish band due to the anti-Unionist views.