Harriet Harman

Labour candidate for Camberwell and Peckham. I am not currently an MP as Parliament has been dissolved until after the General Election on 12th December 2019.

Defending rights of touring musicians post-Brexit

Current free movement rules allow EU artists to undertake tours in the EU and to travel for one-off or short-term engagements, without the need for a visa.

I appreciate the very real concerns of UK musicians and crews about the end of freedom of movement and the impact this could have on their ability to tour in the EU, particularly in the event of a No Deal Brexit.

Firstly, I am firmly opposed to leaving the EU without a deal and was pleased to support legislation to prevent this from happening on 31 October 2019. The Prime Minister must now obey the law, fulfil the will of Parliament, and take No Deal off the table.

I believe musicians’ rights and ability to tour should be protected. The creative industries make a vital contribution to our economy and national life, and we must ensure musicians do not lose out because of Brexit.

Earlier this year, the UK Government said it was seeking an accord with the EU to allow mobility for UK musicians to perform in the EU, and vice versa. When pressed recently about the possibility of creating a musician’s passport, the Government insisted its focus remains on leaving the EU with a deal.

I am dismayed that considerable uncertainty remains for UK musicians and technicians, and that the UK Government’s own guidance – published recently – indicates that touring in the EU would become considerably more difficult in the event of no deal.

I therefore hope the Government will engage with the music industry on these important issues and respond to the concerns that continue to be raised by organisations like the Musicians’ Union and Incorporated Society of Musicians.

I can assure you I will follow developments closely and will continue to stand up for the music industry and our creative sector.

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