Government release immigration White Paper

The Government’s new immigration White Paper, The UK’s future skills-based immigration system The UK’s future skills-based immigration systemhas been published.

Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians who leads campaign Save Music, said:

‘The end of freedom of movement will have a devastating impact on British musicians. The introduction of harsher immigration rules after Brexit will cause declining diversity and creativity in the British music industry. It could also potentially lead to the introduction of reciprocal immigration rules by EU countries.

While it is good news that Government does not intend to immediately introduce a £30,000 minimum income threshold for new immigrants, we do urge for any future plans to be abandoned. Such threshold is not compatible with the music profession, where earnings can be less. We look forward to working with the Government during the consultation period.

While we welcome the Government’s commitment not to introduce visas for EU travellers to the UK, we are concerned by the proposal to establish an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) for migrant workers coming to the United Kingdom. It is unclear how far this would increase the already high levels of bureaucracy imposed on short-term workers from outside the EEA. There is also a danger that such measures will be reciprocated by EU countries, with potentially serious implications for musicians travelling to the EU to work.

The White Paper’s commitment to negotiating Mode 4 commitments under the future bilateral trade agreement with the EU, similar to those negotiated between the EU and third countries, would be insufficient for musicians and the creative industries. Instead, the Government should seek to retain existing freedom of movement rights, or failing that establish a two-year multi-entry touring visa for musicians.’