The Musicians’ Union (MU) was overwhelmingly in favour of remaining in the European Union.
The benefits of free movement, copyright protection and joint lobbying to musicians were innumerable. As the Government now works towards Brexit, however, we would like to reassure members that we are doing everything in our power to protect musicians’ rights.
General Secretary John Smith is representing members in high level Brexit discussions at the Trades Union Congress (TUC) – both as a member of the General Council and of the Executive Committee. The MU is also represented on the Brexit working group at UK Music, the music industry’s umbrella organisation.
We are working with our parliamentary group, the Performers’ Alliance APPG, to raise issues such as free movement for musicians in both Houses of Parliament, and the MU is providing regular questions for sympathetic MPs to raise in parliament.
Yesterday the MU, along with Equity and the Writers’ Guild, hosted a question and answer session for MPs in parliament specifically on the subject of the impact of Brexit on the creative industries. We are also meeting with the Intellectual Property office, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and numerous MEPs and individual MPs.
In all of these discussions and working groups, the MU’s priority is to represent our members’ interests and ensure that musicians, as far as possible, do not suffer as a result of the UK’s exit from the EU.
We will argue against any introduction of visas and work permits for travel within Europe, we will fight to maintain all existing copyright protections for performers and we will work with the rest of the trade union movement to ensure that workers’ rights – such as paid leave for instrumental teachers – are not eroded by Brexit.