UK urged to support musician passports for working in EU post-Brexit
The Musicians Union in the UK are urging the British Government to support a musicians’ passport for those working in the European Union post-Brexit. According to the group, placing costly and heavy barriers to that could bring new difficulties to working as well as aspiring musicians, as well as the broader UK music industry.
In their report, the Musicians Union specifies that the passport must include the following rules:
- Be valid for at least two years.
- Be free or cheap.
- Cover all the Member States of the European Union.
- Remove the need for carnets as well as other permits.
The statement from the Union says: “The permit needs to cover road crew, technicians, as well as any other staff needed for the musicians to do their job. Musicians, and other creative and cultural workers, are a distinct workforce with specific needs. Visa and customs rules post-Brexit need to account for that.”
The report says that musicians have faced difficulties with visa systems. It can cost thousands to take a band to the US while stressing that the cost of fast-track visa processing fees has increased by 15%. Musicians have raised concerns that such a thing could happen with the European Union.
Based on another report by the Musicians Union, a total of 77% of musicians and DJs believe their earnings in Europe will decline due to new red tape and extra costs. It also reveals that a total of 43% of them are planning gigs in the EU in the future, while 42% of them would consider relocating to continue working. At the same time, 21% are considering a change of career.
Musicians and DJs visit a large number of countries during a year, often being obliged to cross the borders every week. If all the musicians have to get a visa and carnet for all the countries they visit, it will make working in Europe very difficult.
“Music and the performing arts rely on the exchange of ideas and interaction between performers of different nationalities. If musicians can’t travel both ways easily, our reputation as a country that embraces all arts and culture will be severely damaged. Our members’ ability to earn a living will also be severely affected,” the MU General Secretary, Horace Trubridge, said.
The UK Government and the EU previously failed to reach a common agreement to help musicians as well as artists to travel to each other’s territories without being obliged to apply for a visa at first.