With the Brexit deadline looming, the Musicians’ Union has created a new advice hub to answer performers’ key questions about leaving the EU.
If you’re confused about Brexit and are trying to figure out what it will mean for your career don’t worry – you’re not alone. The meaningful vote on the EU withdrawal bill is just one week away and the final result is still anyone’s guess.
Despite the mayhem (or should that be May-hem?) the Musicians’ Union (MU) is working to keep members informed about the situation. It has dedicated a section of its website to answering the most common Brexit-related questions. CLICK HERE for more.
The most important thing to remember is that providing we don’t get a hard Brexit – and that looks unlikely – there’s no need to freak out. If the current deal, or a close variation of it, is passed, changes to freedom of movement won’t come into effect until the end of 2020. This will give the music industry some time to figure out what the new system will look like.
How will Brexit impact performers?
While Brexit supporters argue that leaving the EU will mean less red tape, for artists who regularly tour Europe it will inevitably mean more. Currently singers and bands can come and go to Europe as they please. Brexit will mean some of kind visa will be necessary. It’s also likely that legal documents will be needed to move instruments and gear.
The MU is aware that this has the potential to add layers of complexity and costs to touring artists. That’s why it is campaigning for the government to introduce a simple, cheap touring visa for performers if Brexit becomes a reality.
What about the music industry as a whole?
As you would expect the industry itself has worked to highlight how harmful Brexit could be. But the subject matter hasn’t generated much traction in the mainstream media – despite the fact the UK music industry is worth £4.5 billion a year. To put that into context the fishing industry – and there’s been lots of talk about that – is worth £980 million.
What can you do?
- Stay calm. As we said don’t panic, it won’t change anything.
- Keep up-to-date with what’s going on. Even if politics bores you silly, don’t bury your head in the sand on this one. Brexit will have an impact on your career, so educate yourself.
- Get active. If you feel strongly about the issue, speak up. Lobby your local MP or be proactive on social media.