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Write to your local MP: Where is music in the Brexit deal?

The Brexit deal between the UK and the EU has extremely damaging consequences for the music industry. UK musicians now face a mountain of red tape and extra costs, which threatens the viability of working in the EU and individual livelihoods.

The ISM’s external affairs team is campaigning tirelessly in protect musicians’ interests in the post-Brexit world. Writing to your local MP will assist us in our lobbying work and with more people pressuring the Government on the same issue, we are more likely to achieve change.

You can read more about our advice on writing letters before you get started. Your first-hand experiences are vital for persuading politicians to support our campaigns. So make sure to use your own situation and experience to make it more personal. If you send an e-mail to your local MP, please cc us in at [email protected] and do contact us to share your feedback about our template letter, or if you would like to know more about campaigning work.

Template letter

[Address of local MP]


Dear [Insert local MP name]

RE: Finding a solution for musicians post-Brexit

As a professional musician I have serious concerns about my ability to continue to work in the EU as a direct result of the Brexit Trade Deal agreed by the Government. [Insert short description of the important of European touring to your income and livelihood]

Recent research by the MU and the ISM shows that 77% of musicians expect their earnings in Europe to decrease, once restrictions are lifted. This is due to the additional documents required for themselves (like work permits and visas) and for their equipment (customs documents like ATA Carnets). Transport expenses have also risen due to new road haulage requirements. [Insert short description of which additional documents would apply to you and what the cost may be]

The survey also found that, as a direct result of leaving the EU:
• Only 43% of musicians are still planning tours or shows in the EU in the future.
• 42% of musicians would consider relocating to in order to continue working.
• 21% are considering a change of career.

In light of these serious challenges, over 300 creative organisations signed an open letter calling on the Prime Minister to deliver on the promise he made to the Parliamentarians Liaison Committee (24 March) to fix the crisis.

As an individual musician, I kindly ask you as my local MP to use your influence and write to the following Government ministers on my behalf:

1. Lord Frost CMG, Minister of State at the Cabinet Office to negotiate a bespoke Visa Waiver Agreement with the EU for the creative sector, covering all creative professionals.

2. Oliver Dowden CBE, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to negotiate bilateral agreements with key individual EU Member States that do not currently offer cultural exemptions for work permits, or with key states which are the most important financially for creative workers.

3. Grant Shapps MP, Secretary of State for Transport to reduce the adverse impact of the new road haulage and cross-trade rules that has made it impossible for touring companies to facilitate pan-European tours.

4. Rishi Sunak MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer to provide an emergency funding package to compensate for additional costs they now face undertaking work in Europe.

I hope you will support musicians like myself and others in [Insert the name of where you live] to continue touring Europe. Ultimately, the Government must urgently uphold Britain’s global reputation for cultural innovation.

Yours sincerely,

'No deal' Brexit:

Access the ISM's comprehensive guide to transporting instruments into the EU and Northern Ireland.

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