Singers urged not to be complacent about Brexit

Even if politics isn’t your thing and you go cold when you hear the word Brexit, the Musicians’ Union (MU) is asking that you stop and consider what leaving Europe will mean for you as a performer.

It’s urging singers to actively support its campaign to protect performers’ rights to move freely and easily in the EU.

The MU wants as many elected representatives as possible to sign a pledge committing to a post-Brexit world where UK performers enjoy free movement in Europe. And it’s asking singers and musicians to help, by lobbying their local politicians to get on board and sign.

Why does freedom of movement matter so much to performers? There are fears that post-Brexit the financial and bureaucratic burden of touring Europe will prove too much for many musos and artists on a limited budget. This would effectively prevent them from performing live in one of the world’s largest music marketplaces, one that just happens to be on their doorstep.

After Brexit, performers are likely to need a permit to enter Europe, with annual visas expected to cost around £1,000 to £2,000 each. Things could be further complicated if you plan to take merchandise to sell on tour. You may have to declare merch brought into the EU and pay duty on items on entry or at exit.

And if that doesn’t sound like enough paperwork, you may also have to declare any heavy goods you take in such as instruments or PA systems.

About 150 MPs, MSPs and Peers have already signed up to the MU’s campaign including Bristol West MP Thangam Debbonaire.

She says: “British musicians have had a huge global influence in almost every genre. I am concerned that our departure from the EU may make it more difficult for British musicians to tour on the continent, which would be disastrous for these performers. It would also harm our economy – music generates £2.5 billion of export revenue for the UK.”

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