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Quiz Your Candidates: Make Sure You’re Voting for the Best Deal for Musicians

In a matter of weeks, the UK will be going to the polls for the third time in four years. The reason? The EU referendum in June 2016, which irrevocably changed our country and our politics and has made it almost impossible for parliament to agree or to function properly.

Published: 04 December 2019 | 12:00 AM Updated: 28 April 2021 | 4:30 PM
Graphic of the EU flag with the slogan
The MU has long argued that Brexit will damage the music industry

Both for those who oppose Brexit and for those who want to leave the EU, this election is likely to represent the last opportunity to vote in a government that will carry out their wishes.

The Conservatives want to leave the EU by 31 January 2020 either with Boris Johnson’s deal or, failing that, without a deal.

The Labour Party say that they would negotiate a different Brexit deal with the EU, which they would then put to the public in a second referendum where people would choose between the Brexit deal and remain.

The Lib Dems, if they won a majority, have pledged to revoke Article 50 and abandon Brexit.

The SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party are also anti-Brexit and calling for a second referendum, whilst the Brexit Party is, as it says on the tin, in favour of Brexit but would prefer a harder Brexit than the one set out in Boris Johnson’s deal.

Why is the MU anti Brexit?

Musicians need to be able to work overseas free of extra burdens and added costs, and the MU has long argued that Brexit will damage the music industry.

In fact, when the music industry (musicians, composers, songwriters, lyricists, producers and artist managers) were asked how leaving the European Union would impact on their ability to work in the music business, only 2% thought Brexit would have a positive impact next to 50% who said it would have a negative impact.

Any Brexit that ends free movement for musicians will cause major problems in our industry.

What can I do to stop Brexit?

If you do not want Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal and you don’t want a No Deal Brexit, you can use this election to vote against Brexit.

The MU is affiliated to the Labour Party and we support their pledges to provide funding for the NHS, education and housing amongst others. We have also worked with the Labour Party to ensure that the manifesto includes commitments on music education for children as well as voting in favour of the new Green Deal at party conference.

For members who do not want to vote Labour but do want to stop Brexit, the other parties are, in some areas, creating a ‘remain alliance’ as a tactical voting tool. There are websites which can advise on this, although of course tactical voting is never foolproof.

The long and short of it is that if the Conservatives and Brexit party win an overall majority, then Brexit will happen. Any other outcome is more likely to lead to a second referendum.

Ask your candidates what their plan is

This is also the perfect time to contact your candidates and ask them what their plans are for music, as well as Brexit.

Ask your candidates:

  • Do they support staying in the EU?
  • If the UK leaves the EU, will they support the Musicians’ Passport?
  • Do they suport access to music lessons for every child
  • Will they protect grassroots music venues in their constituency
  • Do they support freelancers' rights at work?

You can ask the questions on social media, in a letter, email, or in person at an event or if they knock on your door.

Let us know what they say on Twitter and Instagram or by emailing

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