The Brexit deal has now been voted on in parliament and passed. The MU is grateful to the Labour leader Keir Starmer and a number of other MPs including Rachel Reeves and Tracy Brabin for raising the issue of touring musicians working in the EU, but there remains no clarity for our members.
The MU will fight to have performers included on the list of ‘Independent Professionals’ in the short term, but we will also continue to argue for an overall exemption for touring musicians.
Over 90,000 people have signed the petition calling for a Musicians’ Passport, which has widespread support.
There needs to be an exemption for touring performers
MU General Secretary Horace Trubridge explains:
“Our understanding from analysis of the trade agreement, is that the main barriers for musicians in the short term will be work permits, which could vary from territory to territory, and costly carnets for movement of instruments and equipment.
“We have been calling for a reciprocal arrangement; we understand that EU-based performers and crew will want to work here, by including the UK on an international tour for example, and many of our members rely heavily on working in EU countries. It is extremely disappointing that no such arrangement has been agreed.
“In fact, this response suggests that the government fails to understand the issues facing touring musicians. Visas are not the issue, the issue is work permits. At the very least, in the short-term, touring performers should be included in the list of Independent Professionals. In the long term, there needs to be an exemption for touring performers if the UK is going to maintain its strong position as a world-class music nation.
“We will continue to work with the UK Government to try to secure an acceptable arrangement. Given the massive impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the UK music industry, this is another devastating blow.”
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