This week in Parliament I joined the Musicians’ Union, Equity and Creative Unions campaign to back performers to get the best possible deal from Brexit.
Musicians and actors are concerned that the Brexit process may lead to the introduction of individual member state work permits and/or visas for British performers touring and working across Europe. Most professional musicians, actors and performers rely on touring and travelling for their careers and livelihoods, and gigs are often organised at short notice.
As some performers can be working in several different European countries over the course of a few days, the possible introduction of country-by-country work permits and visas for British musicians and performers could be extremely detrimental.
The Musicians’ Union General Secretary, Horace Trubridge, has called on the UK Government to help secure a deal that will ensure ease of movement for touring and performing post-Brexit. He says that the union knows from touring in the US and elsewhere that visas and other restrictions impose significant costs and challenges on touring performers.
The UK has the largest cultural economy in the world relative to GDP, and is the second largest exporter of music (after the US), our creative industries are worth over £87bn in GVA and they employ 1 in 11 people. It’s important to me that we maintain our high-quality creative industries both here and on tour around the world so I’m proud to stand with the Musicians’ Union on this issue and back the pledge.
Christine Payne, General Secretary of actors’ union Equity, said “We should not underestimate the challenges of Brexit. Getting the best deal for the UK will mean tapping into the talents of all of us, workers as well as business leaders. We are calling for representatives for the creative workforce to have a seat at the table in preparing for Brexit.”
To find out more about the campaign, visit the Musicians’ Union website.