Where is the music? ISM responds to the Brexit trade agreement

Following the publication of the UK/EU trade agreement, the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) is deeply concerned about the absence of visa-free travel provisions for working musicians, as part of the agreements for business visitors and independent professionals in the service industries (Annex SERVIN-3, Annex SERVIN-4). This means that UK musicians will be considered as ‘third country nationals’, meaning that they will have to adhere to the immigration rules of each EU member state in which they work. This is contrary to assurances given to the music sector, and will have huge implications for UK musicians working and touring in the EU.

Deborah Annetts, ISM Chief Executive said:

‘It is hugely disappointing to see that musicians and other creatives will not be covered by visa free short term business trip provisions. After everything that the sector has been through over the past ten months, how has this happened? It is high-time that the value of music to our lives and our economy is recognised fully.’


The UK music industry grew to £5.8 billion this year, providing more than four times the value to the economy than fishing (£1.4 billion), and when combined with other creative industries, which are also greatly affected by this lack of provision, the sector is worth £111.7 billion.

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