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Government should compensate touring musicians in event of no-deal Brexit, says ISM

By | Published on Wednesday 14 August 2019

With the UK’s Prime Bullshitter ‘Boris’ Johnson splashing the cash around to help the country prepare for the no-deal Brexit that’s now so in vogue among his clique, the Incorporated Society Of Musicians has called on the government to set aside some of that money for musicians set to tour Europe after 31 Oct. Which is to say, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the government should cover any additional travel costs touring musicians incur.

The professional body states: “The lack of transitional arrangements in a no-deal scenario will result in chaos for many of those who have to travel to the EU for work – and freelance, touring musicians, often on low earnings, will be amongst the hardest hit. The ISM has calculated that musicians who travel to [other EU countries] and carry an instrument will incur additional costs of up to £1,000 – or more in certain cases – in a no-deal Brexit”.

Those extra costs will include buying any carnets required post-Brexit for transporting instruments and sound equipment around Europe, health insurance that will be needed if EU protections are suddenly removed from British citizens, and other potential bureaucracy that might be added should the UK crash out of the European Union with no deal in place.

ISM’s President, Jeremy Huw Williams, expands on the potential impact, saying: “In the event of a no-deal Brexit, there will be significant uncertainty over the terms under which musicians would be subject to when travelling to the EU for work. This uncertainty threatens the livelihoods of thousands of UK-based musicians who rely on touring in EU countries for work, which is terribly concerning for our membership of almost 10,000 professional musicians”.

The organisation’s CEO Deborah Annetts adds: “As we know from our professional musician members, the majority of musicians do not have the capacity to absorb additional costs in the event of a no-deal Brexit. These costs would be impossible for most freelance musicians, who earn on average around £20,000 per year. They would simply be unable to allocate up to 5% of their earnings to additional costs in the event of a no-deal Brexit”.

Williams’ then concludes: “We call on the government to fully cover these costs in advance of 31 October, or at the very least provide a full compensation scheme to support musicians in the first three years following Brexit”.