The consequences of 'No Deal' for UK business - ISM statement

In its latest report published on Friday 19 July, the Committee on Exiting the EU warns that a ‘no deal’ Brexit would lead to severe disruption, pose a fundamental risk to the competitiveness of key sectors of the UK’s economy including the creative industries and put many jobs and livelihoods at risk.

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

'We welcome the report ‘The consequences of “No Deal” for UK business by the House of Commons Exiting the European Union Committee, which sets out in detail the effects of a no deal Brexit.

We are particularly concerned regarding the free movement of musicians and their instruments between the UK and EU. The report correctly identifies mobility as a key issue for the creative industries, including the music industry, specifically ‘the ability to move people very quickly without friction’. As the report says, if the UK leaves without a deal, this will cause significant uncertainty on the terms under which musicians would be able to travel to the EU for work. Sectors such as the music and creative industries ‘need flexibility in how quickly they can send staff across the EU’, particularly those which involve ‘less predictable schedules or touring’ – such as the music industry.

Musicians’ livelihoods depend on the ability to travel easily and cheaply with their instruments around multiple countries in the EU for work in a short period of time. For a large proportion of musicians, a significant part of their earnings comes from working within the EU. In order that musicians can continue to generate income and contribute to the £4.5billion the music industry already contributes to the UK economy, it is essential that musicians and their instruments/equipment are able to continue travelling to and working in the EU. If freedom of movement ceases, the ISM has identified the introduction of a two-year, cheap and admin-light, multi-entry touring visa in any withdrawal agreement as the most effective way forward.

Given the risk to the music industry, we urge the Government to provide further information and clarification regarding the preparations for the UK to leave the EU in a no deal situation as a matter of urgency. The government must protect the music industry and music professionals that work within it from any adverse impact. These preparations are vital to the future work of musicians, who have been booked for work in the EU for dates that fall past 31 October 2019. These musicians need to know that they can travel freely to work in the EU – including the transportation of their instruments and other equipment – in order to honour these bookings following a no deal Brexit.’