Personal testimonies from musicians facing economic disaster as a result of Brexit have been drawn together in a new report.
25 stories and case studies by professionals who rely on working in EU countries reveal the administrative and financial burdens they are facing as touring in Europe begins to reopen after the pandemic.
Comments from the musicians describe how they have been “professionally paralysed by Brexit”. One calculated the additional cost of a tour at £700 per performer due to carnets and visas, plus two days unpaid attendance at embassies, and said “the tour is now completely uneconomic”.
The report stems from a collaboration between the two largest bodies representing musicians, the Incorporated Society of Musicians and Musicians’ Union.
They have been holding high-level meetings with politicians and civil servants on this issue. They are calling on the Government to negotiate a bespoke visa waiver agreement with the EU and bilateral agreements with individual EU Member States that do not offer cultural exemptions for work permits, as well as those which are financially the most important to UK performers.
MU General Secretary Horace Trubridge said: “This situation shouldn’t be about political posturing, this should be about real people being robbed of their livelihoods at a time when they have suffered huge financial loss due to the pandemic. These are UK taxpayers who create the culture that the UK is famous for and they deserve better from this Government.”