Catherine McKinnell, MP for Newcastle North, has shown her support for professional musicians and performers from her constituency by backing a Musicians’ Union pledge to secure their rights after Britain has left the EU.
The creative industries are currently worth over £87billion GVA to the UK – more than oil and gas, life sciences and aerospace combined – and represent the fastest-growing sector of the British economy, now employing 1 in 11 people.
The UK also has the largest cultural economy in the world relative to its GDP, is the largest producer of recorded music in Europe, and the second largest exporter of music after the US.
A number of Newcastle North constituents have contacted Catherine raising their concerns that the Brexit process may lead to the introduction of individual member state work permits and/or visas for British musicians touring and working across Europe.
This would be incredibly detrimental to the many professional musicians and performers who rely on touring and travelling for their livelihoods, with gigs often organised at short notice and in several different European countries over the course of a few days.
‘I know many local performers are really concerned about how Brexit could affect their ability to easily travel and work as they do now. The Government must recognise that they are part of one of the UK’s most important exporting industries, and do everything in its power to secure their rights as part of the Brexit negotiations process.’
General Secretary of the Musicians’ Union, Horace Trubridge, said:
‘British musicians have long enjoyed easy access to touring in Europe, as UK venues and festivals have benefited from easy access to European performers. We know from touring in the US and elsewhere, that visas and other restrictions impose significant costs and administration, and occasionally considerable financial loss when visas aren’t processed in time. We are calling on MPs and the Government to help secure a deal that will ensure ease of movement for touring and performing post-Brexit.’
The Musicians’ Union pledge signed by Catherine states:
‘I pledge to support professional musicians and performers in my constituency, and to do all that I can to ensure they can continue to be able to travel easily across Europe post-Brexit for time-limited activities such as touring and performing with minimum administrative burdens.’