skip to main content

Brexit Deal Contains No Detail for Musicians

The Government has now agreed a Brexit deal with Europe and will bring it back to Parliament on Wednesday for MPs to vote on.

Photo ofIsabelle Gutierrez
By Isabelle Gutierrez Published: 28 December 2020 | 12:52 PM Updated: 28 April 2021 | 4:32 PM
Photograph of two very small placards held up at a march, they read
At the moment, short term VISA free travel is possible between the UK and EU, but could in theory change in the next couple of years.

As predicted in our email to members last week, the Government’s new Brexit deal does not adequately cover arrangements for touring musicians.

The MU will continue to lobby hard for a Musicians’ Passport and a better deal for musicians. We have nearly 90,000 signatures on our petition and a large number of MPs onside, all of which will be vital to our fight over the next few months.

How the deal will affect musicians

A summary of the deal in terms of how it will affect musicians if implemented is as follows:

  • Musicians do not come under the exemptions for short term business visitors and individual states could make their own rules making it particularly hard for touring musicians.
  • If we successfully lobby to have musicians included under the exemptions for short-term business visitors, the 90-day maximum trip still has possible implications for touring musicians.
  • Carnets, at a cost of £200 +, are required to dodge customs for equipment like cameras and sound decks being moved temporarily for projects. This will add costs and paperwork.
  • British TV and video-on-demand service providers will no longer be able to offer pan European services to European viewers, unless they relocate part of their business to an EU member state.
  • On data, the British Government have said, “the agreement confirms strong data protection commitments by both the UK and the EU, protecting consumers and helping to promote trust in the digital economy.” But there's lots left to be confirmed and the quickest data adequacy agreement between the EU and another country – Argentina – took 18 months to finalise.

At the moment, short term VISA free travel is possible between the UK and EU, but could in theory change in the next couple of years. In the meantime, we will be lobbying to get musicians listed as short term business visitors, permitted to work for up to 90 days in the EU.

We will be lobbying for a reciprocal agreement with the EU

MU General Secretary Horace Trubridge commented on the deal:

“Over the past few years we have told the Government in every possible way that a Brexit deal needs to make provisions for touring musicians.

We have nearly 90,000 petition signatures calling for a Musicians’ Passport, hundreds of MPs have spoken on behalf of our members in parliament and Ministers have assured us over and over again that they will ensure that touring musicians will not be subject to extra cost or admin post Brexit.

“And yet we now see that this deal does not address any of our concerns. In the short term we urge the Government to add musicians to the list of ‘Independent Professionals’ at the earliest opportunity.

“In the longer term, we will be lobbying for a reciprocal arrangement with the EU that will allow musicians to work unimpeded.”

Take action now

The Musicians’ Union is calling on the Government and Parliament to back a Musicians' Passport for musicians working in the EU post-Brexit.

If you haven’t already, please sign and share the petition to show your support.

Sign the petition

Get MU membership today

From gig players to part-time teachers and professional instrumentalists, MU members can access specialist insurance for musicians. This includes accident cover, health schemes, travel insurance and car insurance add-ons through the Musicians’ Union.

Explore our member services

  • Get public liability insurance for musicians
  • Access expert legal support
  • Be represented in your profession
  • Access expert career advice, resources, and training events
  • Connect, network, and get to know the community of musicians

Learn about all membership benefits

Get MU membership today

Continue reading