The ISM comments on the House of Commons’ latest series of votes on Brexit

The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) has commented on the House of Commons’ latest series of votes on Brexit options as well as the passage of the Immigration and Social Security Co-Ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill.

Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM), said:

‘We welcome MPs’ vote to reject a no-deal Brexit in principle, however this does not provide any certainty. There are now less than two months before the UK leaves the EU whether or not a deal is in place and the music community is becoming increasingly worried.

The current Withdrawal Agreement does not address the plight of musicians’ post-Brexit. As our Musicians and Brexit reported revealed, more than a third of musicians receive more than half of their income working in the EU27. Touring is part and parcel of a musician’s work. With 39% of musicians travelling to the EU more than five times a year, they need to know that their jobs in Europe will be secure once Britain leaves the EU. And of course music contributes £4.5bn a year to the UK’s economy whilst the creative industries is worth £101.5 billion yet the Government does not seem to understand the value our musicians bring to our economy and cultural life.

Post-Brexit, musicians want to continue to play their part in the UK’s future prosperity but the only way they can do this is by being able to travel easily for work. If Brexit is to go ahead as planned, we urge the Government to put forward an alternative mechanism which protects the rights of our musicians to work across the EU after Brexit. In particular we advocate a two-year multi-entry touring visa, which has already been endorsed by the House of Lords Home Affairs Sub-Committee. This would enable our musicians to be able to work across the EU, generating great music and promoting the arts which the UK does so well.’

We have been engaged in talks with civil servants from DCMS, BEIS and DExEU in order to educate the government on musicians’ work and the need for a two-year multi-entry touring visa post-Brexit.