Industry news & advice blog

Musicians' Union reflects on Brexit 1 year on & the impact on musicians

Thursday 29 March is a year to the day since Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50, beginning the Brexit process. That also means it's one year until the United Kingdom leaves the European Union (EU). Yet we still do not know what will happen in key areas of policy.

For the 30,000 members of the Musicians' Union (MU), one of the biggest questions is what will happen to freedom of movement. It is a right that is essential to musicians who rely on the ability to travel freely and easily to and through the EU to sustain their careers in music.

Why does it matter?
We know it matters because musicians have been telling us that it does. Over 23,000 people have signed the petition calling on Government to protect freedom of movement for musicians.

Over 150 MPs and Peers have signed a pledge to do all they can to ensure musicians can tour and perform in the EU freely and easily, with minimum administrative burdens.

Musicians are sharing photos of their working in the EU on social media using the hashtag #WorkingInTheEU. And we're already hearing from our members about how their work plans are already being affected.

What can I do?

  • Sign the free movement petition via
  • Tell us how Brexit is affecting your work plans for 2019 – touring, performing, teaching or studying in the EU. Email Maddy Radcliff, MU Campaigns & Social Media Official, at [email protected]
  • Share your photos working across the EU on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag #WorkingInTheEU. The more evidence we have, the stronger the case to protect free movement.

Already done that?
We need MPs' support to make sure free movement for musicians is considered in the Brexit negotiations process.

Ask your MP to sign up to the MU's pledge to protect free movement, which could be as is or in the form of a cheap and admin-light visa system. Find your MP via Write to Them and send them this link to the pledge.

We also need Members of the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly Members and Members of the Legislative Assembly in Northern Ireland to show their support. Find your representatives via Write to Them and send them this link to the pledge too.

What next?
Keep an eye out on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for news, campaigns and updates from the Musicians’ Union on everything from Brexit to fair play, protecting venues and travelling with instruments.

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